Review of electronic-nose technologies and algorithms to detect hazardous chemicals in the environment
Novel mobile electronic-nose (e-nose) devices and algorithms capable of real-time detection of industrial and municipal pollutants, released from point-sources, recently have been developed by scientists worldwide that are useful for monitoring specific environmental-pollutant levels for enforcement and implementation of effective pollution-abatement programs. E-nose devices are ideal instruments for measuring and monitoring carbon and greenhouse-gas emissions due to their sensitivity to a wide diversity of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A large number of e-nose instrument types, based on a wide diversity of technologies and operational mechanisms, are available to monitor gaseous and particulate pollutants released into the atmosphere, or liquid and dissolved organic pollutants released into municipal and industrial waste-water systems. Some commonly used e-nose technologies include conducting polymers (CP), metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS), quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), and surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors. Potential pollution-detection applications of e-noses range from atmospheric pollutant (gas-leak) detection of carbon emissions from biofuel production plants and fossil-fuel production sources in the oil and gas industry to VOC-releases from numerous other industries. E-nose technologies are potentially capable of monitoring all phases of industrial manufacturing processes to minimize production of pollutants and maintain efficient, clean production lines. E-nose devices are also useful in designing more environmentally friendly, clean technologies for energy production, various industrial processes and product-manufacturing systems. This paper is a review of recent novel electronic-nose systems and algorithms, developed over the past decade, that have potential applications for detecting specific types of harmful VOC pollutants in the environment to meet carbon-capture and emission-reduction targets of worldwide environmental protection agencies.