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EOS Ambiente, the “dynamic olfactometry” champion

Sacmi’s odour-detecting machine exhibited at Ecomondo 2007

“Dynamic olfactometry” is a pretty recent science. Its origins date back to the 1980s when there was a growing awareness within Europe that industrial plant odour emissions constituted a serious social and environmental problem. Hence the development of a series of techniques for odour measurement and monitoring so as to bring “unpleasant smells” within the lowest possible - and legal - limits.

The innovative Sacmi-developed solution, capable of measuring even minimal concentrations of bad odours – no small problem for those living near distilleries, slaughterhouses, waste dumps, composting stations, animal farms etc. – is called EOS Ambiente (EOS Environment). Built by Sacmi Imola in collaboration with Progress srl – a company specialising in the control of glazing plants and environmental waste biological treatment stations – EOS Ambiente will be exhibited in Hall A7, stand 113 of the Ecomondo 2007 fair; due to be held in Rimini from 7th to 10th November, Ecomondo is Italy’s biggest energy and material recovery/reutilisation fair.

The EOS Ambiente system is characterised by both outstanding stability, a must when working at continuously variable temperatures and humidity levels, and high sensitivity, so that even the most diluted odours right on the olfactory threshold can be measured. Moreover, EOS Ambiente can continuously assess the olfactory impact of a plant not only close to the various odour sources in the plant itself but also far away from them via remote receptors. Among other things, the instrument includes a set of electro-chemical sensors and an electrical signal processing system that recognise the “olfactory footprint” of a certain odour and quantify its concentration. The instrument also features an air/component intake system that stabilises its response independently of environmental conditions. The olfactory sensor “calibration” process is as unique as it is curious; sensors are calibrated in the laboratory on the basis of a dynamic olfactometry test. In practice, a panel of flesh-and-blood “nasal analysts” sniff air contaminated by the unpleasant odour; the latter is diluted with clean air until the smell drops below the perception threshold, thus becoming compliant with EN 13725:2003 standards. These samples are then used to calibrate the electronic system.

Ecomondo is a major event, attracting the attention of all those involved in the environmental field, as figures for the 2006 edition clearly show: 960 companies, 52,595 industry operators from 61 countries, 170 seminars/events/workshops and 335 business meetings between international buyers and exhibiting companies. Ecomondo is, then, an ideal opportunity to contact potential purchasers (public utility companies, plant managers etc.) of this new system. The prototype, already presented at the last edition of Ecomondo, incorporates all the Sacmi Group’s long-standing experience with control systems, especially as regards the gas sensor development technology that Sacmi has been supplying to the food quality control sector for years.


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