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11/2/2006
Ecomondo 2006, the first “electronic nose”

Sacmi presents Eos Ambiente, the odorous emissions monitoring instrument

Advanced pollutant monitoring centres that can intercept and classify even the most microscopic grain of pm10 and provide ARPA (the Italian environmental control agency), town councils and other institutions with real-time alerts: yet no instrument able to detect and classify odours, especially those unpleasant ones.
This problem – a considerable one for people living near distilleries, slaughterhouses, refuse dumps, composting plants, animal farms and so on – is resolved with the technologically advanced Sacmi-developed prototype, EOS Ambiente: “This is an innovative tool”, explains R&D Manager Andrea Bresciani, “for the continuous external monitoring of odorous emissions at sites with a high olfactory impact”.
The instrument will be presented for the very first time at the 10th edition of Ecomondo, the fair dedicated to the recovery and re-utilisation of materials and energy to be held in Rimini from 8th to 11th November. Sacmi will be in Hall A7, stand 114: “This is”, explains Bresciani, “an outstanding opportunity: we have already sent out over 400 invitations to town councils and plant managers and expect a positive response”.
Technically, the instrument incorporates the Sacmi Group’s long-standing experience in control systems, especially as regards the technology needed to develop the gas sensors that Sacmi supplies to the food industry for quality control purposes. “Over the last few years, however”, points out Bresciani, “we have also been contacted by those working in the environmental sector”. Hence the construction of prototypes and the development of EOS Ambiente, made by Sacmi together with Progress Srl, a company based in both Milan and Rome that specialises in control systems for waste disposal plants and biological waste treatment.
The olfactory instrument ‘calibration’ process is particularly interesting. “These instruments”, explains Bresciani, “are calibrated in the lab on the basis of what we call dynamic olfactometric tests”. In practice, a panel of flesh-and-blood ‘odour analysts’ will ‘sniff’ air that has been contaminated by a bad smell: the mix is diluted with clean air until the smell drops below the perception threshold. “Establishing how much dilution needs to occur before this happens”, underlines Bresciani, “means measuring odour concentrations as per EN 13725:2003; these same samples are then used to calibrate the electronic system”.
Hence the development of EOS Ambiente, an instrument that automatically detects odour concentrations and remote-transmits the data: in short, a boon for plant managers and all those bodies whose task it is to safeguard the environment.

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