Many facilities are required to operate under an Odour Management Plan (OMP) as part of their Environmental Permitting Regulations and to prove compliance. Other processes may just require an assessment of the performance of odour control units or to investigate any odour complaints. Odour pollution can be problematic when it comes to sampling, analysis and controlling the resulting issues. The situation can be further complicated by the fact that several chemicals are involved, and the occurrence, concentration and intensity can vary, along with being site specific or time dependent.
For stacks, odour is measured to the European Odour Standard. This determines odour concentration by dynamic olfactrometry, where odour is assessed from the point of view of perceptibility to human olfactory sense. Envirodat are able to collect samples using a non-reactive material and a ‘sampling lung’ which prevents potential sources of contamination. The sample is rapidly assessed by an odour panel within 30 hours of sampling. Results are then presented in the form of European odour units, and assessment of the hedonic tone, if necessary.
Key to sampling is targeting specific odorous compounds. Envirodat can help in identification and provide a ‘fingerprint’ and compare these against odour thresholds. The odourous emission can often be a complex chemical cocktail and knowledge of the individual constituents can be an essential part of the investigation.
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