UK scientists at the University of Manchester have invented an 'electronic nose' designed to remotely monitor bad odours and methane gases at waste landfill and water treatment sites.
The device is being touted as a possible solution for communities and waste management companies, which regularly encounter problems with noisome odours and air pollution.
The electronic nose has four sensors which analyse the composition of gases in the air. The chemical profile is then sent in real time via a built-in GPS modem to a remote computer.
Based on the concentration of various chemicals, the system is able to determine whether the methane gases or odours have reached an unacceptable level. The air is then filtered before being expelled back into the atmosphere.
The researchers noted that 20.9 million tonnes, or 72 per cent, of household waste produced in Britain is disposed of in landfill sites. There are currently over 4,000 licensed sites in the UK and 80 per cent of the population live within 2km of a site.
Decomposing waste produces methane gas and odours which contribute to global warming.
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