Compost pile Monitoring with GC-MS, E-Nose and olfactometry: comparison of different approaches

In many cases, odours emitted by municipal solid waste (MSW) plants are bothersome for the surrounding population.However, regulation and controls are difficult to determine. The complexity of emissions and the subjectivity of odourperception can partially explain this difficulty. Another concern is that the various techniques to measure such odoursare not standardised. This paper compares complementary approaches to monitor odours. The odour source selected forthis study is green waste compost at different maturity stages.

The study site is a composting facility located in the southof Belgium.A portable e-nose developed by the Environmental Monitoring Research team (Arlon, Belgium) was placed at differentpoints of the facility to monitor odorous emissions from the compost piles. The sensor chamber consisted of humidityand temperature sensors and six FigaroTM metal oxide sensors (TGS2610, TGS822, TGS2620, TGS842, TGS2180, andTGS880). The device is battery powered and equipped with a pump that absorbs the odour through the sensor chamberwith a flow of 200 ml/min. Simultaneously to the in-situ e-nose measurements, the volatile organic compounds werecollected on TenaxTM cartridges for 30 min with a flow rate of 150 ml/min. Chemical analyses were performed in thelaboratory using a TD-GC-MS (from Thermo).In addition, odours were also sampled simultaneously in Tedlar bags andsubsequently analysed with the same e-nose in the laboratory. The aim was to compare the response of the sensorswhen used directly in situ or in the laboratory with odour sampled in bags. For e-nose measurements in the laboratory,odourless reference air was used to perform odour-odourless measurement cycles. The odourless air was collected in thefield at about 500 metres upwind of the compost piles at the same time as the odours were sampled. For each sample, asecond bag was also analysed by olfactometry according to the EN 13725 standard to determine odour concentration(ouE/m3) using the Odile olfactometer (Odotech). Certain parameters of the composting process such as temperature andturning date were considered to assess the maturity of the compost. The large number of data sets obtained wasexplored by statistical methods such as principal components analysis (PCA) and partial least squares analysis (PLS).An increase in odour concentration during the first days of the degradation process was determined by olfactometry.Most of the chemical families are terpenes, organic acids, ketones, aldehydes and alcohols like D-Limonene, Butanoicacid, Thujone, Hexanal and 2- Butanol, respectively. E-nose data are linked to the chemical composition and to theodour concentration. These preliminary results highlight the possibilities of monitoring the composting process as well as the released odours with simple measurement approaches.

Copyright: © European Compost Network ECN e.V.
Quelle: Orbit 2012 (Juni 2012)
Seiten: 7
Preis inkl. MwSt.: € 7,00
Autor: A.-C. Romain
M.C. Gutiérrez
A. F. Chica

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