Air treatment with a compact biological membrane filter, and air quality monitoring with an electronic nose were tested in the laboratory on air from a cage containing six mice. Additional analyses of air to and from the filter were performed using olfactometry and ammonia and hydrogen sulphide gas detection tubes. The biological air filter is a module containing biofilm-coated membrane fibres that separate a closed liquid loop from a gas phase. Odour compounds and oxygen diffuse through the membranes from the gas phase to the biofilm, where they are degraded to carbon dioxide and water. The prototype “ENQBE” electronic nose is based on an array of eight thickness shear mode resonators (TSMR), also known in the literature as quartz microbalance sensors. The chemical sensitivity is given by molecular films of metalloporphyrins and similar compounds. Chemical interaction of compounds in the air with the vibrating sensors induces a frequency change of the vibration that can be measured as a signal. The air from the mouse cage had a strong odour (3490 OUE/m3). The biological membrane filter performed well, achieving over 80% odour and ammonia reduction. The electronic nose signal could be correlated with the inlet and outlet air-quality of the biological filter, making it a promising method for monitoring air quality in closed environments.

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