Electronic Noses for Indoor Air Quality Assessment

Electronic Noses for Indoor Air Quality Assessment

Tomasz Majchrzak (Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland), Wojciech Karol Wojnowski (Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland), Tomasz Dymerski (Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland), Jacek Gębicki (Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland) and Jacek Namieśnik (Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3862-2.ch010

Abstract

This chapter presents a proposal of the use of electronic noses in the monitoring of indoor air quality. The main focus is put on the detailed characteristics of today's indoor air quality control methods, the types of pollution in the air, and the development of electronic noses for air testing. Currently, scientists seek methodological and structural solutions that would enable real-time online indoor air control. It has been shown that using electronic noses in this situation is advantageous. In addition, potential uses of these devices are discussed, with particular focus on closed food processing spaces. The authors of the chapter argue that in the near future, the proposed solution could improve the quality of indoor air and thus the health of the users of the indoor environments, as well as the quality of the products prepared there.
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Introduction

The composition of inhaled air has a direct impact on human health and well-being which is why it is crucial to examine the air quality in the environment. This applies to both outdoor and indoor air. Indoor air is a gas mixture in rooms, buildings and vehicles, which may be contaminated with compounds emitted by structural elements or room furnishings. Contamination can also come from outside the building, or from other rooms in the building. The composition of indoor air can change over time. It can be influenced by many factors such as the frequency of air exchange in the room, the temperature and the relative humidity of the air, or the manner of air exchange. The degree of air pollution in a room may also depend on the activities performed in it. According to various estimates, a person spends 70% − 90% of their life in closed spaces. These values ​​refer to the time a person spends in houses, flats, public buildings, schools, offices, shops, factories, and means of transport. According to research conducted in the United States, on average people spend 88% of time in buildings, 7% in means of transport, and only 5% outside. In the gas mixture of a given room, there can be organic and inorganic compounds. These compounds can directly affect human health or be involved in chemical reactions that result in secondary pollution, which could be significantly more harmful than primary pollution. The topic of indoor air quality control is one of many fields of studies that have not been sufficiently researched/elaborated on. One of the priority needs for indoor air monitoring is to develop a tool to control the quality of air in real time. Sensory systems utilizing electronic nose technology are the perfect solution.

The authors of this chapter would like to review current and prospect solutions that use electronic noses to control indoor air quality. They believe that, in the first place, such a solution could be used in food processing plants, particularly in places where frying processes occur. The use of electronic noses in such places can not only improve the indoor quality, and thus the health of the people indoors, but also assure the quality of the products prepared there. This work also covers a whole range of aspects related to methods of indoor air quality control, pollution therein, as well as future directions for the development of electronic noses for indoor air testing.

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