National Energy Globe Award Netherlands (overall winner)

Submitted by: Comon Invent B.V.
Implemented country: Netherlands
Title: Electronic Noses for Safety and Odor Management

Our atmosphere is a precious commodity. All the more reason to take extra good care of it. Dutchman Simon Bootsma has much to tell about that because in Holland clean-air standards are constantly exceeded. Still, you can only protect something that can be precisely measured, and you also have to know who exactly the “bad guys“ are.
Simon Bootsma is the owner of Comon Invent B.V., a company that produces “e-noses“, which stands for electronic noses, the purpose of which is comprehensive gas monitoring in order to provide graphical representations of odor nuisance and pollutant loads in the atmosphere at any given time. This happens through special gas sensors that measure atmospheric composition and record the data in a central database. More precisely, the system not only detects individual substances but the conductivity of air as a whole. The database contains reference levels and the program compares these with the measured data. What is new about this system is the fact that it is adaptive and can be adjusted to values not yet available in the database. The sensors receive their energy from photovoltaic cells and pose no threat to the environment.
The biggest challenge was to adjust the system to odors so well that it could possibly compete with human noses. This is achieved through the system’s learning capability. Thus any conceivable atmospheric composition is precisely analyzed and will be used by the database as a future reference value. One current example of how e-noses is used is the Rotterdam harbor, more precisely, the petrochemical industry. E-Noses monitor the air quality, and noxious fumes are immediately detected and pipe leaks are repaired in an efficient way. Not only that – odor nuisances are permanently reduced.

"I am convinced that a smart sensor-grid can create a higher awareness concerning local environmental parameters."

Simon Bootsma

Category: Air