Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Electronic nose could spell the end of landfill pongs

06.01.2006


Scientists at the University of Manchester have invented a new device which remotely monitors bad odours and methane gases at waste landfill and water treatment sites.



The device, which works like an electronic nose, could be the solution many communities and waste management companies, who regularly encounter problems with bad odours and air pollution, are searching for.

20.9m tonnes (72%) of household of waste produced in Britain is disposed of in landfill sites. There are currently over 4000 licensed sites in the UK. Eighty per cent of the population live within 2km of a site. Methane gas and odours, which contribute to global warming, are produced by decomposing waste.


Currently there is no other instrumentation sensitive enough to monitor low concentrations of odours and gases on these sites. Gases and odours are analysed manually using handheld detectors and by panels of volunteers asked to smell samples of air.

The new device has four sensors which analyse the composition of gases in the air. Air is sucked into the device at regular intervals and then profiled. The chemical profile of the air is then sent in real-time via a built-in GPS modem to a remote computer. Based on the concentration of various chemicals, the system is able to determine whether the methane gases or odours have reached an unacceptable level. The air is then filtered before being expelled back into the atmosphere.

Professor Krishna Persaud, who has developed the device, said: “Current methods mean odour and gas levels are only monitored on a weekly basis. In that time bad odours can build up. What this device offers is the ability to monitor these levels in real-time, enabling waste companies to act before levels reach an unacceptable level.

“Ultimately, this device has the potential to create a much healthier environment which will benefit both local communities and waste management companies by alerting them to the build up of bad odours and enabling them to ensure monitor methane emissions remain at a safe level.”

Developed in collaboration with the Silsoe Research Institute, the device has already been successfully tested at the Brookhurst Wood Waste Land Fill Site, near Gatwick Airport. Five of the devices have been positioned around the perimeter of the site since May, 2005. Professor Persaud is also working with a major UK water company to monitor foreign chemicals and materials in water which is processed through water treatment plants.

An open day event showcasing the device will be held at the Silsoe Research Institute: 11:30am, January 11, 2006. To attend please contact Simon Hunter.

Simon Hunter | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk
http://www.sri.bbsrc.ac.uk/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds

25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow

25.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>