Special Issue "Odour in Ambient Air"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 18 August 2023 | Viewed by 482

Special Issue Editors

Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, Hohe Warte 38, 1190 Vienna, Austria
Interests: odour dispersion; environmental pollution; boundary-layer meteorology; urban meteorology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
WG Environmental Health, University of Veterinary Medicine, 1210 Vienna, Austria
Interests: annoyance assessment; odour emission; determination of odour exposure
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Interests: odour emission; odour dispersion; health risk assessment; odour abatement technology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Odour in ambient air has become a global environmental issue of increasing concern in recent years. This Special Issue of Atmosphere is open for the entire chain where odour can be relevant, including: (1) odour sources characterised by emission factors and treated by emission models, (2) the use of dispersion models to describe the transport and dilution of odour and odorous substances/mixtures in the atmosphere,(3) the assessment of relevant stimuli concentrations, (4) the assessment of odour exposure to estimate the expected odour annoyance by odour impact criteria, and finally (5) odour abatement strategies. All types of odorous substances related to industry (e.g., rendering plants, refineries), municipal plants (e.g., wastewater treatment plants, solid waste landfills), and animal husbandry are included. Although rapid progress was made in the last decade, some open questions deserve special interest. As far as the determination of odour emissions is concerned, these comprise, for example, uncertainties and limitations of olfactory and chemical analysis as well as odour prediction methods based on odour activity values and chemical concentrations. When estimating odour annoyance, the type of odour dispersion model, the kind of meteorological input data and the fact that odour impact criteria are defined on a national level (and thus vary from country to country) introduce uncertainties. Proposals for an international harmonization of odour impact criteria are most welcome, and are seen as an urgent undertaking for the scientific and regulator communities to ensure analogous separation distances for an equivalent level of protection in the future. Finally, contributions on odour perception in urban areas and agglomerations as well as possible mitigation plans are encouraged. The goal is to exchange ideas and to achieve a better understanding of the specific aspects relevant to odour in ambient air.

Dr. Martin Piringer
Prof. Dr. Günther Schauberger
Dr. Wenjing Lu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • odour emission
  • odour dispersion
  • odour exposure
  • odour abatement strategies
  • harmonization of odour impact criteria

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Odour Emissions and Dispersion from Digestate Spreading
Atmosphere 2023, 14(4), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14040619 - 24 Mar 2023
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Odour emissions from digestate applied on 21 October 2020 in a 2.4 ha field in the Po Valley (Casalino, 28060, Novara, Italy) were measured using dynamic olfactometry and a six-specialist odour panel, and two application techniques were compared. The measured odour emissions were [...] Read more.
Odour emissions from digestate applied on 21 October 2020 in a 2.4 ha field in the Po Valley (Casalino, 28060, Novara, Italy) were measured using dynamic olfactometry and a six-specialist odour panel, and two application techniques were compared. The measured odour emissions were 3024 and 1286 ou m−2 h−1, corresponding to the digestate application with surface spreading and direct injection, respectively. The odour dispersion for the different emission values was modeled to a distance of approx. 500 m from the center of the field and 15 m from the ground using a Lagrangian puff model (SCICHEM) in different meteorological conditions. The meteorological variables were measured at the closest station during the whole month in which the digestate application took place, mimicking a “worst-case scenario” characterized by the frequent applications along the considered period. The maximum odour concentrations within one square km area from the center of the field occurred in calm wind and stable atmospheric conditions. This study also evaluated the effect of a barrier downwind from the source. In the worst-case scenario (spreading technique with maximum emissions, no barriers), the average and maximum estimated odour concentrations were 3.2 and 18.9 ou m−3, respectively. The calculated probabilities of exceeding the threshold value of 1 ou m−3 were 36% and 47% for the whole period and the episodes of calm winds, respectively, and 14% on average for the episode of maximum wind gust. In the best emission scenario (direct injection), the average and maximum odour concentrations were 1.5 and 8.6 ou m−3, respectively, while the probabilities of exceeding 1 ou m−3 were 26% and 36% for the whole period and the episodes of calm winds, respectively, and 0.016% for the maximum wind gust episode. In the presence of a solid barrier downwind from the source and for the wind gust episode, the peak values of the concentrations and exceedance probabilities at the sampling height were found to be reduced by a factor close to 2.5 and 5 × 105, respectively. The study also evaluated the concentration field’s vertical distribution, showing that the odour plume’s vertical and horizontal dispersion slightly increased with the barrier. This is not a cause of concern unless the emitted substances causing odour nuisance are also atmospheric pollutants with potential harm to far-field ecosystems and human settlements at low concentration levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Odour in Ambient Air)
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