Special Issue "Environmental Odour: Emission, Dispersion, and the Assessment of Annoyance"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Martin Piringer
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, Hohe Warte 38, A-1190 Vienna, Austria
Interests: odour dispersion modeling; odour impact criteria; odour guidelines; urban meteorology; vertical profiling; ground-based remote sensing; atmospheric stability
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Günther Schauberger
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
WG Environmental Health, Unit for Physiology and Biophysics, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, 1210 Wien, Austria
Interests: airborne emissions of livestock buildings; impact of climate change on confined livestock; biologically effective UV radiation; heat stress of farm animals; impact of odour on humans
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environmental odour is a major concern of residents in the vicinity of odour sources. This Special Issue of Atmosphere will treat the entire chain from the odour source via the dilution in the atmosphere, to the assessment of perception-related odour exposure to the assessment of annoyance, to abatement strategies. The Special Issue will include the characterization of the odour source by emission factors and emission models, the use of dispersion models to describe the transport and dilution of odour and odorous substances/mixtures in the atmosphere, and the assessment of the relevant stimuli concentration and the odour impact criteria. All types of odorous substances related to industry (e.g., rendering plants, refineries), municipal plants (e.g., waste water treatment plants, solid waste landfills), and animal husbandry will be included. Contributions on odour perception in urban areas and agglomerations and possible mitigation plans are encouraged. The goal is to exchange ideas and achieve a better understanding of the specific aspects that are relevant to environmental odour.

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

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • odour
  • emission
  • dilution
  • dispersion
  • ambient odour concentration
  • annoyance
  • separation distance

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Environmental Odour: Emission, Dispersion, and the Assessment of Annoyance
Atmosphere 2020, 11(9), 896; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11090896 - 24 Aug 2020
Abstract
Environmental odour is a major concern of residents in the vicinity of odour sources. This Special Issue of Atmosphere was open for the entire chain where odour can be an issue[...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Odor Characteristics and Concentration of Malodorous Chemical Compounds Emitted from a Combined Sewer System in Korea
Atmosphere 2020, 11(6), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060667 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
(1) Objectives: This study was carried out to investigate the characteristics of odors emitted from a combined sewer for the abatement of combined sewer odor. (2) Methods: The odor samples emitted from the combined sewer were collected at 14 sites, and the concentrations [...] Read more.
(1) Objectives: This study was carried out to investigate the characteristics of odors emitted from a combined sewer for the abatement of combined sewer odor. (2) Methods: The odor samples emitted from the combined sewer were collected at 14 sites, and the concentrations of 13 malodorous chemicals were determined by the instrumental analysis such as gas chromatography. To understand the sensory characteristic of the combined sewer odor, the on-site odor intensity (OOI) was evaluated by the direct sensory method using the human olfactory sensitivity of panelists with a normal sense of smell. The primary odor-causing compounds with high contribution were evaluated based on the converted odor concentration (COC), which was calculated by using the compound concentration and threshold limit value. Since the direct sensory method requires a lot of manpower and time, the converted odor intensity method (COI) calculated by the malodorous compound concentration was reviewed and compared with other cases. (3) Results: As a result of the instrumental analysis, four compounds which were higher than other compounds, showed an average of 325 ppb for H2S, 121 ppb for NH3, 102 ppb for CH3SH, and 108 ppb for toluene. The rest of the compounds appeared low, below 60 ppb. Based on the result of evaluating the COC, three compounds which are H2S, CH3SH, and (CH3)3N appeared to be compounds with a high contribution to combined sewer odor. Especially, it was estimated that H2S was the main odor-causing compound in this study. The on-site odor intensity of the combined sewer as judged by 5 panelists appeared to be 2.8 degrees on average, the same as COI. The correlation between the odor intensity and the H2S concentration in the combined sewer showed as the following equation: COI, degree = 1.0757 × log (H2S conc., ppb) + 0.3696. (4) Conclusions: In Korea, the odor emission standard in the atmosphere including sewer odor has adopted 20 ppb for H2S, and less than 2 degrees for odor intensity in the non-industrial area. However, since the mean observed odor intensity was 2.8 degrees and the concentration of H2S was also 325 ppb on average in this study, it was concluded that countermeasures should be prepared to reduce the complaints due to combined sewer odor in residential areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Peak-To-Mean Ratios of Odour Intensity in the Atmosphere near Swine Operations
Atmosphere 2020, 11(3), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11030224 - 25 Feb 2020
Abstract
Odour in the atmosphere is usually characterized by an intermittent time series of high peaks and periods of low (or zero) concentrations. The peak-to-mean ratio (PMR) is commonly used to estimate short-term peaks from long-term averages to assess the odour impact. The objective [...] Read more.
Odour in the atmosphere is usually characterized by an intermittent time series of high peaks and periods of low (or zero) concentrations. The peak-to-mean ratio (PMR) is commonly used to estimate short-term peaks from long-term averages to assess the odour impact. The objective of this study was to quantify the peak-to-mean ratio of odour intensity (PMR_OI) in the atmosphere near swine operations. Fifteen human assessors (sniffers) were trained to use an 8 point odour intensity scale to measure odour intensity in the ambient air near two swine operations. In each measurement session, the sniffers were placed 0° (in the direction of wind), 30°, and 45° from the wind directions at 100, 500, and 1000 m from the swine operations to sniff odour in the air every 10 s for 30 min. The results showed that odour in the atmosphere was intermittent. The intermittency (% of time when odour was detected) increased with the averaging time and decreased with the distance from the odour source and the direction from the wind. The measured intermittency ranged from 13% to 85%. The PMR_OI increased with the averaging time, the distance from the source, and the direction from the wind. In the wind direction, the largest difference in PMR_OI between 1 and 30 min averaging times was 68% (2.5 vs. 4.2), which occurred at 1000 m from the odour source under stability class B. The average PMR_OI increased from 1.5 at 100 m to 3.5 at 1000 m. Atmospheric stability had a noticeable effect on PMR_OI. At 1000 m, the 30 min PMR_OI decreased from 4.2 at stability class B (unstable) to 2.4 at E (slightly stable). Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
A Collaborative Approach between Japan and China for Implementing Interlaboratory Evaluation of Olfactometry
Atmosphere 2020, 11(2), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11020221 - 22 Feb 2020
Abstract
Odor measurement is a crucial element of odor management and regulation. This paper introduced a collaborative implementation of interlaboratory evaluation of olfactometry between Japan and China. An international comparison of olfactometry using the triangular odor bag method was carried out for the first [...] Read more.
Odor measurement is a crucial element of odor management and regulation. This paper introduced a collaborative implementation of interlaboratory evaluation of olfactometry between Japan and China. An international comparison of olfactometry using the triangular odor bag method was carried out for the first time between Japan and China in 2018. A total of 134 olfactometry laboratories (130 Japanese and 4 Chinese) participated in the test, and the odor index of the test odorant (dimethyl disulfide with a concentration of 10.7 ppm) was measured three times at each laboratory. In the interlaboratory evaluation, a reference value and repeatability and reproducibility standard deviations were determined on the basis of measurement results of 13 ‘excellent qualified laboratories’ designated by the Japan Association on Odor Environment. Evaluation results of trueness and precision of the 133 laboratories that conducted duplicate or triplicate measurements showed that 110 (108 Japanese and 2 Chinese) and 104 (102 Japanese and 2 Chinese) laboratories (82.7% and 78.2%) conformed to the criterion of trueness and precision, respectively, and 87 (86 Japanese and 1 Chinese) laboratories (65.4%) conformed to both. Based on the meaningful experiences in 2018, a continuous international collaboration between Japan and China in the field of olfactometry should be implemented for the improvement of the quality of olfactometry laboratories and the reliability of odor measurement in both countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of the Gaseous and Odour Emissions from the Composting of Conventional Sewage Sludge
Atmosphere 2020, 11(2), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11020211 - 19 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Many different alternatives exist to manage and treat sewage sludge, all with the common drawback of causing environmental and odour impacts. The main objective of this work is to present a full inventory of the gaseous and odorous emissions generated during the bench-scale [...] Read more.
Many different alternatives exist to manage and treat sewage sludge, all with the common drawback of causing environmental and odour impacts. The main objective of this work is to present a full inventory of the gaseous and odorous emissions generated during the bench-scale composting of conventional sewage sludge, aiming at assessing the process performance and providing global valuable information of the different gaseous emission patterns and emission factors found for greenhouse gases (GHG) and odorant pollutants during the conventional sewage sludge composting process. The main process parameters evaluated were the temperature of the material, specific airflow, average oxygen uptake rate (OUR), and final dynamic respiration index (DRI), resulting in a proper performance of the sewage sludge composting process and obtaining the expected final product. The obtained material was properly stabilized, presenting a final DRI of 1.2 ± 0.2 g O2·h−1·kg−1 Volatile Solids (VS). GHGs emission factor, in terms of kg CO2eq·Mg−1 dry matter of sewage sludge (DM–SS), was found to be 2.30 × 102. On the other hand, the sewage sludge composting odour emission factor (OEF) was 2.68 × 107ou·Mg−1 DM–SS. Finally, the most abundant volatile organic compounds (VOC) species found in the composting gaseous emissions were terpenes, sulphur compounds, ketones, and aromatic hydrocarbons, whereas the major odour contributors identified were dimethyldisulphide, eucalyptol, and α-pinene. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Comparing Annoyance Potency Assessments for Odors from Different Livestock Animals
Atmosphere 2019, 10(11), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10110659 (registering DOI) - 29 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
(1) Background: When it comes to estimating the annoyance potency of odors, European countries relate to different guidelines. In a previous study we compared complaint rates for different agricultural odors, but due to different guidelines, the results we obtained are hard to generalize. [...] Read more.
(1) Background: When it comes to estimating the annoyance potency of odors, European countries relate to different guidelines. In a previous study we compared complaint rates for different agricultural odors, but due to different guidelines, the results we obtained are hard to generalize. (2) Methods: We compare our findings on complaint rates to Dutch and German findings on annoyance rates, using diverse regression models. We also discuss whether the use of the polarity profile for hedonic odor quality could improve annoyance potency assessment. This is demonstrated by comparing the graphical profiles of two different odor types (swine and cattle). (3) Results: Official complaint rates are comparable to a percentage of annoyed residents. Confounder variables such as personal variables do not greatly contribute to annoyance. However, individual emission sites also showed an important influence on complaints and hence on annoyance. Considering the hedonic quality of odors via the polarity profile method for improving an annoyance potency assessment cannot be recommended when using the given state of the method. This is particularly true when it comes to the rating of specific odors, as the method then seems to lack reliability. (4) Conclusions: Where data on annoyance rates are lacking, complaint data could be used instead. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Olfactory Characterization of Typical Odorous Pollutants Part I: Relationship Between the Hedonic Tone and Odor Concentration
Atmosphere 2019, 10(9), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10090524 - 06 Sep 2019
Abstract
The hedonic tone is a suitable evaluation index which can truly reflect the psychological impact of an odor. To find out the relationship between the odor concentration (OC) and hedonic tone (H), dimethyl disulfide, limonene and butyl acetate were presented as typical odorants [...] Read more.
The hedonic tone is a suitable evaluation index which can truly reflect the psychological impact of an odor. To find out the relationship between the odor concentration (OC) and hedonic tone (H), dimethyl disulfide, limonene and butyl acetate were presented as typical odorants with different characters. A panel of 16 persons was engaged to rate the hedonic tone of a series sample with various concentrations according to the nine-point scale. The relationship between the hedonic tone and OC was established based on a multivariate logistic regression analysis. The research results demonstrated that the smell of dimethyl disulfide is unpleasant at various concentration levels, and its perceived unpleasantness is increased with OC, and at the critical point (H = −0.5), the odor index of dimethyl disulfide is 0.5 (OC = 3 OUE·m−3). For limonene, its smell is pleasant when the odor index is between 1.4 and 3.3 (OC = 25~1995 OUE·m−3). For butyl acetate, the average results showed an unpleasant character with the corresponding odor index of 1.87 (OC = 74 OUE·m−3). Each odorant has a unique hedonic behavior curve from which the annoyance potential of different odorants can be clearly discriminated, with the order of dimethyl disulfide > butyl acetate > limonene. The regression equations showed a quadratic nonlinear function between the hedonic tone and OC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Analysis of Methods for Determining Odour-Related Separation Distances around a Dairy Farm in Beijing, China
Atmosphere 2019, 10(5), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10050231 - 30 Apr 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) such as dairy farms are a source of odorous compound emissions. In this study, by identifying relevant odour sources within a 300-head dairy farm and quantifying their emissions, we determined the separation distances to avoid odour annoyance around [...] Read more.
Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) such as dairy farms are a source of odorous compound emissions. In this study, by identifying relevant odour sources within a 300-head dairy farm and quantifying their emissions, we determined the separation distances to avoid odour annoyance around the dairy farm with two empirical models (Austrian and German Verein Deutscher Ingenieure (VDI) model) and a dispersion model (AERMOD). Besides, this study ponders on the selection of an appropriate meteorological station that best represents the area surrounding the farm. Results show that the maximum separation distances of an exceedance probability of P = 15% determined by the two empirical and the dispersion models are 524 m, 440 m and 655 m, while the minimum values are 202 m, 135 m, and 149 m, respectively. The NE–SW stretching separation distances match well with the wind rose. The mean ratios of separation distances determined by the two empirical models to that of the dispersion model are 1.23 and 0.95. Moreover, statistics of the separation distances indicate good accordance between the empirical models and the dispersion model. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
How Can Odors Be Measured? An Overview of Methods and Their Applications
Atmosphere 2020, 11(1), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11010092 (registering DOI) - 13 Jan 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
In recent years, citizens’ attention towards air quality and pollution has increased significantly, and nowadays, odor pollution related to different industrial activities is recognized as a well-known environmental issue. For this reason, odors are subjected to control and regulation in many countries, and [...] Read more.
In recent years, citizens’ attention towards air quality and pollution has increased significantly, and nowadays, odor pollution related to different industrial activities is recognized as a well-known environmental issue. For this reason, odors are subjected to control and regulation in many countries, and specific methods for odor measurement have been developed and standardized over the years. This paper, conceived within the H2020 D-NOSES project, summarizes odor measurement techniques, highlighting their applicability, advantages, and limits, with the aim of providing experienced as well as non-experienced users a useful tool that can be consulted in the management of specific odor problems for evaluating and identifying the most suitable approach. The paper also presents relevant examples of the application of the different methods discussed, thereby mainly referring to scientific articles published over the last 10 years. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Concentration Fluctuations and Odor Dispersion in Lagrangian Models
Atmosphere 2020, 11(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11010027 - 26 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
In this paper, a review of the Lagrangian stochastic models developed in the last decades for the simulation of the concentration–fluctuation dispersion is presented. The main approaches available in the literature are described and their ability in reproducing the higher order moments of [...] Read more.
In this paper, a review of the Lagrangian stochastic models developed in the last decades for the simulation of the concentration–fluctuation dispersion is presented. The main approaches available in the literature are described and their ability in reproducing the higher order moments of the probability density function is discussed. Then, the Lagrangian approaches for evaluating of the odor annoyance are presented. It is worth to notice that, while Lagrangian stochastic models for mean concentrations are well-known and their ability in correctly reproducing the observation is well assessed, concerning concentration fluctuations the approaches are often new and unknown for most of the scientific community. Full article
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