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Technical Note

Aerial Mapping of Odorous Gases in a Wastewater Treatment Plant Using a Small Drone

1
Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), Baldiri Reixac 10-12, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
2
The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Carrer del Comte d’Urgell 187, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
3
Department of Electronics and Biomedical Engineering, Universitat de Barcelona, Marti i Franqués 1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
4
Depuración de Aguas del Mediterráneo (DAM), Avenida Benjamín Franklin 21, Parque Tecnológico, 46980 Paterna, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maria João Costa
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(9), 1757; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13091757
Received: 2 April 2021 / Revised: 23 April 2021 / Accepted: 29 April 2021 / Published: 30 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Research Using Remote Sensing)
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are sources of greenhouse gases, hazardous air pollutants and offensive odors. These emissions can have negative repercussions in and around the plant, degrading the quality of life of surrounding neighborhoods, damaging the environment, and reducing employee’s overall job satisfaction. Current monitoring methodologies based on fixed gas detectors and sporadic olfactometric measurements (human panels) do not allow for an accurate spatial representation of such emissions. In this paper we use a small drone equipped with an array of electrochemical and metal oxide (MOX) sensors for mapping odorous gases in a mid-sized WWTP. An innovative sampling system based on two (10 m long) flexible tubes hanging from the drone allowed near-source sampling from a safe distance with negligible influence from the downwash of the drone’s propellers. The proposed platform is very convenient for monitoring hard-to-reach emission sources, such as the plant’s deodorization chimney, which turned out to be responsible for the strongest odor emissions. The geo-localized measurements visualized in the form of a two-dimensional (2D) gas concentration map revealed the main emission hotspots where abatement solutions were needed. A principal component analysis (PCA) of the multivariate sensor signals suggests that the proposed system can also be used to trace which emission source is responsible for a certain measurement. View Full-Text
Keywords: drone; UAV; gas sensors; odour; air pollution; industrial emissions; mapping; environmental monitoring drone; UAV; gas sensors; odour; air pollution; industrial emissions; mapping; environmental monitoring
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MDPI and ACS Style

Burgués, J.; Esclapez, M.D.; Doñate, S.; Pastor, L.; Marco, S. Aerial Mapping of Odorous Gases in a Wastewater Treatment Plant Using a Small Drone. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 1757. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13091757

AMA Style

Burgués J, Esclapez MD, Doñate S, Pastor L, Marco S. Aerial Mapping of Odorous Gases in a Wastewater Treatment Plant Using a Small Drone. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(9):1757. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13091757

Chicago/Turabian Style

Burgués, Javier, María D. Esclapez, Silvia Doñate, Laura Pastor, and Santiago Marco. 2021. "Aerial Mapping of Odorous Gases in a Wastewater Treatment Plant Using a Small Drone" Remote Sensing 13, no. 9: 1757. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13091757

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