Electronic Noses

Electronic noses are instruments that work Electronic noses are instruments that work as human olfactory systems. They are able to measure and recognize the smell in intake-on sensitive receptors positioned at a given distance from a production facility.




Electronic noses (orartificial olfactometric systems) are instruments that simulate the recognitionof the smells by the human olfactory system through the help of semiconductormetal oxide sensors, providing a so-called "olfactory imprint". 

Theanalysis performed by electronic noses consist of the following steps:

  • Collection and analyses of odour samples;
  • Instrument training;
  • Monitoring at the receptor;
  • Quantitative and qualitative determination of the potential impact of different sources.

Training is an essentian step in the use of electronic noses because it allows teaching the instrument on how to recognize smells that are looked for during monitoring. The electronic nose does not perform a chemical analysis of the gaseous mixture under examination, but rather provides its olfactory impression and then compares it to the reference data that have been stored in the database during the training phase.

In fact, just as human noses, electronic noses recognize an odor only after having experienced it in the past. 

LOD uses electronic noses both in the laboratory and outside. Their use can be useful:

  • to plant operatorswho want to monitor their olfactory impact;
  • to institutions or committees ofcitizens who wish to monitor olfactory impact on a receptor.

Electronic noses are particularly useful when there are more sources of nuisance on the territory, in order to understand which source produces the greatest impact at a receptor.

Lod isa a member of the UNI Working Group involved in the drafting of the electronic noses norm (IOMS - Instrumental Odor Monitoring System).


LOD: Laboratorio Olfattometria Dinamica

Spin-off dell’Università degli Studi di Udine