Sensing Odour

Odour and the Human Nose Instruments for sensing odours have made great strides in recent years, but they still lag well behind the human nose.

At the 2017 Odour Management Conference in Los Angeles attended by Armatec’s Managing Director Ken Holyoake were the latest developments in odour instrumentation. This included laboratory and field olfactometry, GCMS, and a large range of sensors for individual compounds. This space is changing rapidly and Armatec is keeping up with developments to bring to our customers. However the human nose still remains the most complex sensor for odour.

Human Nose AKA Odour Sensing Device Did you know our human nose has over 1,000 sensors, and is far more sensitive than any instrument yet developed? The process of odour detection in humans involves absorption of the odour molecules into mucus, then a chemical reaction with a nose sensor, and a resulting electrical signal is sent to the brain to interpret and respond. When we are born we have no knowledge of what is a bad odour and what is a good odour.

Image courtesy of Scentroid, Odour Management Conference, Los Angeles 2017

Image courtesy of Scentroid, Odour Management Conference, Los Angeles 2017

Good & Bad Odours With experience we learn what is good and bad to smell and our brain develops a database of memories for understanding future odour events. In this manner bad and poisonous gases are typically detected at very low concentrations by the human nose (low odour thresholds) and the human responds appropriately with for example, 'flight or fight response' in order to survive. Conversely good odours such as from food attract humans and animals for obvious reasons. Odour evaluation by humans is therefore a psychological response and not a purely physical one.

Nuisance Odour Because odour sensing develops over a lifetime, odour perception varies from individual to individual. Odour perception depends on an individual’s sensors, past experiences, and sensitivities. In this way odours can readily be a nuisance, and can affect the physical health, psychological health, and induce social and emotional affects in our communities. While the effects are different for different people, the need to address nusiance odour to protect our population and environment remains.

Reducing and Detecting Odours Armatec Environmental Ltd’s role in this field is to contain and control odours released from physical processes and sites. The result - reduced odours to less than nuisance level outside a plant’s boundary. Therefore Armatec and its customers need instrumentation to quantify odours and the effectiveness of odour control measures to provide performance data and an agreed measure. One common example is hydrogen sulphide gas detectors, for which Armatec recommends Acrulog.

Written by Ken Holyoake, Managing Director of Armatec Environmental Ltd Dated: 5th December 2017 Acknowledgements: Scentroid for material from their ‘Odour Workshop, 2017’

Increasing Heavy Duty Coating Offerings & Solutions Discussed

Akzo Nobel are the Licensor of our ‘Ceilcote’ range of heavy duty coatings that we have been successfully supplying and installing in New Zealand and Australia since the 1980s. Between us we are exploring ways to further strengthen more than 40 years of ‘Ceilcote’ coatings in New Zealand and Australia by increasing offerings and solutions for our customers.

When the service is too severe for other coatings, then the ‘Ceilcote’ coating range will have the answers. We have solved many very difficult corrosion problems at pulp and paper mills, chemical plants, dairy factories, car assembly plants, and more with this coatings technology. Effective containment of corrosive chemicals protects against environmental spills/leaks and corrosion of plant equipment.

Thank you to Darin, Richard and James from Akzo Nobel for making the trip to New Plymouth to discuss.

Find out more about Armatec Ceilcote coatings range here:

Darin, Richard and James from Akzo Nobel visit with Ken and Bryan at Armatec.

Darin, Richard and James from Akzo Nobel visit with Ken and Bryan at Armatec.

OMCTS International Odour Conference 2017

The OMCTS 2017 Odour Management Conference brought together leading companies, consultants, researchers, Councils, and more in Los Angeles.

Armatec's Managing Director Ken Holyoake attended the Conference, odour workshop and a site visit to an odour treatment facility run by the Los Angeles Council. The conference confirmed that Armatec's odour control solutions using biotrickling filters and carbon beds are align with the best in the world.

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Ken attends breakout workshop

Ken attends breakout workshop

Site Visit to Odour Treatment facility in LA, USA

Site Visit to Odour Treatment facility in LA, USA

Ken and Marc

Ken and Marc

Water NZ 2017

We thoroughly enjoyed our time catching up with everyone at the Water NZ Conference and sharing our new products, knowledge and passion for wastewater and sewage odour solutions to better serve New Zealand.

On show at our display:

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IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition 2016

We have recently returned from exhibiting at the World Water Congress & Exhibition 2016 hosted by IWA and this time held in Brisbane, QLD Australia.

We found it was an absolultely wonderful event with professionals and exhibitors from around the world sharing their expertise for the greater purpose of better water management - a precious global resource and a truly international challenge.

We thank all those that visited our stand and their interest in our water industry solutions including Green Dome Odour Filters, Biological Scrubbers and other fibreglass, air pollution control and odour control systems, and we wish them well in their travels and future business.

The IWA World Water Conference & Exhibition

The IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition is the global event for water professionals, bringing together over 5,500 water, environment and related professionals from more than 100 countries and offers new insights into how pioneering science, technological innovation and leading practices shape the major transformation in water management that is underway.

Precision FRP Fan manufacturing & balancing

As part of the manufacture and factory-commissioning of our fans, we precision-balance all of our full-FRP impellors.

Here is a demonstration of the accuracy of this balancing - a coin standing upright on the fan during installation and commissioning with the fan at full speed. Vibration is minimised and excess noise and energy loss is minimised - meaning the fan is more efficient and less prone to wear & tear. This is with a full-FRP fan impellor blade giving maximum corrosion resistance.

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Reference: Job 83172-01 - E3988 - CHP-6 FANS

Armatec Green Dome® Odour Filter Success Stories

Business is better now for the Mangawhai thanks to the Green Dome® Odour Filter.

The Mangawhai wastewater sewer network is a combination of pressure sewers and a gravity network. The main pump station at Mangawhai Village is located just 10 metres from a gift shop. There were odour complaints from this pump station as soon as it started operation. “The odour was bad. Customers noticed it immediately,” the shop owners said. “But now there hasn’t been even a whiff since you installed it. You wouldn’t even know the pump station was there.” The engineer for the Mangawhai wastewater scheme is very pleased with the result. “The Green Domes® are working well,” he stated.

The odour was gone as soon as it was installed. It is just fantastic.
— Gift shop attendant, Mangawhai Village.

Following the first two successful Green Domes® at Mangawhai in 2010, more than 30 installations have been done throughout New Zealand and Australia to eliminate odour releases from pump stations, air release valves and manholes.


Redwood Forest a more enjoyable destination

Long Mile Road in Rotorua leads to the popular Redwood Forests, a mountain biking and walking recreation area for locals and tourists alike. A roadside sewer air release valve caused a ‘stink’ detracting from the nature experience.

In 2011, a Green Dome® Odour Filter was installed. Instantly the H2S sewage odour was gone. Dennis, a local who walks his dog along this road every day, and was the first to congratulate Armatec for eliminating the odour immediately after installation.  “The Green Domes work. Before it was installed, we had complaints about the smell of death at this location” says Riaan Rossouw, principal engineer for Hydrus Engineering Consultants – who bikes this road frequently in the Rotorua Redwood Forest. After Green Domes® were installed, Rotorua District Council received unsolicited phone calls of congratulations for taking care of sewage odours. This is a welcome change from the normal phone calls which are usually complaints when things go wrong.