Does the air smell or not? That question has until now been very difficult to answer. Scientists from Aarhus University will, in collaboration with Infarm A/S, SKOV A/S and the Pig Research Centre under the Danish Agriculture and Food Council, now try and get a handle on the problem by developing a model that can measure actual odour reduction from various environmental technologies, such as slurry treatment and air cleaning.
Until now, when scientists and businesses have developed technology to cleanse odour from the air from farms it has not been possible to document the reduction in odour properly. Further development of technology that can reduce air odour will stagnate if improvements cannot be documented satisfactorily.
At the present, odour is measured using air analyses in which the human nose plays a large role. This method is insufficient because many compounds disappear during transportation from the pig barn to the laboratory and the method itself is very inaccurate. With the new chemical model odour will be calculated according to chemical measurements on location.
Development of PTR-MS (Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry) has made this possible. From now on it will be easier to document new air cleansing methods and, not least, to develop new methods based on removing the smelliest compounds.
Aarhus Universitet/ Denmark.