Electronic Noses

Electronic noses are instruments that work in analogy with the human olfactory system. They are able to measure and recognize the smell in relapse (intake) at sensitive receptors positioned at a certain distance from a production reality.




Electronic noses (orartificial olfactometric systems) are instruments that simulate the recognitionof the smells of the human olfactory system through the use of semiconductormetal oxide sensors, providing a so-called "olfactory imprint". Theanalysis by electronic nose consists of the following steps:

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

Training is afundamental phase of the use of electronic noses because it allows to instructthe instrument to recognize the smells that are searched during the monitoringphase. The electronic nose does not make a chemical analysis of the gaseousmixture under examination, but rather provides its olfactory impression andthen compares it to the database of reference data stored during the trainingphase.

In fact, like thehuman nose, electronic noses recognize an odor only if they have experienced itin the past. 

LOD uses electronic noses both on the counter and forexternal use. Their use can be useful:

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

Electronic noses are particularly useful when there are more sources of smell on the territory and you want to understand which source produces the greatest impact at a receptor.

Lod participates in the UNI Working Group for the drafting of the electronic noses norm (IOMS - Instrumental Odour Monitoring System).


LOD: Laboratorio Olfattometria Dinamica

Spin-off dell’Università degli Studi di Udine