odor attribution

March 23, 2023

The odor panel uses an olfactometer to sniff air samples at varying dilutions for odor concentration, character, and intensity following American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) methods.

 

Odor attribution is a complicated process when nuisance odors are intermittent and come from more than one source. Today’s blog discusses technological advances in olfactometers and processes to investigate and resolve industrial or agricultural odors.

To investigate odors, SCS begins by reviewing odor complaints for patterns based on location, time of day, the month of the year, and local wind conditions. We then use a site survey to identify candidate sources of odor that may contribute to the region’s odor complaints. Next, we assess the relative contributions of the most probable sources identified by collecting odor samples at/near each source and upwind, downwind, and crosswind. Traditionally, a limited number of odor samples could be collected daily in Tedlar® bags and shipped overnight to a certified laboratory for analysis by an odor panel. The odor panel uses an olfactometer to sniff air samples at varying dilutions for odor concentration, character, and intensity following American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) methods.

In certain situations, however, using a portable olfactometer in the field is more efficient. SCS recently implemented the Scentroid SS400 Six Station Portable Olfactometer Odor Lab for large odor studies. The Scentroid SS400 is the world’s only portable six (6) panel olfactometer compliant with European Standard EN 13725/2003 and ASTM E679-04 and is compact for easy transportation and deployment in remote locations. The Scentroid SS400 allows us to:

  • Conduct on-site odor measurements.
  • Collect and analyze more odor samples per day at a lower cost per sample.
  • Minimize the time between sampling and analysis to avoid sample degradation.
  • Eliminate the need for overnight shipping and issues related to timely sample delivery.
  • Determine odor concentration in ou/m3 per the recognized EN13725 standard.
  • Conduct a hedonic tone (pleasant to unpleasant) assessment of odor emissions.
  • Conduct panelist training and n-butanol screening.
  • Include residents from the study region in the odor panel.
  • Interface to the Scentroid Laboratory Information Management Software.

By having more data, our SCS professionals gain insight into complex nuisance odors and propose targeted mitigation measures that reduce odor concentrations downwind. With over 30 years of experience resolving odors from landfills, wastewater treatment plants, composting facilities, agricultural and manufacturing facilities, we’re confident we can help your facility come up smelling like roses too.

 

Greg Hauser, SCS EngineersMeet the Author: Greg Hauser is an SCS Project Director responsible for environmental compliance projects. He has over 30 years of experience with compliance topics such as air quality permitting, emission inventories, dispersion modeling, health risk assessments, and odor impact assessments. Mr. Hauser is experienced conducting odor studies of composting, landfill, and wastewater treatment plant operations. He has surveyed facilities to identify sources of interest, collected field samples of odorous emissions, developed odor emission profiles based on odor concentrations and odor flow rates, and conducted dispersion modeling to predict odor concentrations at or beyond the facility’s property boundary. He also provides health risk assessments for aerospace, manufacturing, wastewater treatment, and oil and gas facilities.

 

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Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am