Eco Innovator November 2011


E-Nose Is On The Job

The electronic ear is a great success, they are working on an electronic eye, so having an electronic nose makes sense. And Australia has one.

Inventor Graham Bell is commercializing the E-Nose, a box of chemical sensors and patented electronics and software that can detect chemicals in the air. It creates an "odour image" in real time and can send this to a computer to identify and quantify the odours and set off an alarm if they are abnormal or dangerous.

The E-Nose is used by environmental managers who need to control industrial smells and airborne chemicals both indoors and outdoors. It means responses can be timely and complaints eliminated, equipment can be run cost effectively, and savings made in abatement costs.

Typical environmental applications are abattoirs, animal yards, rendering plants, solid and liquid waste, sewage processing, petrochemical sites, vapours from spray-paints and solvents and emission of chemicals.

The E-Nose also has uses in security and medical diagnostics.

An E-Nose for detecting airborne chemicals.

Airborne chemicals can signal something that needs urgent attention, such as in planes, trains, buses, production lines and pipelines where, for example, timely detection of oil fumes, overheating wiring or leaks could save lives. The E-Nose can also detect graffiti paint being used at a distance of 45 metres, allowing railways for example to deter vandalism.

In medical diagnostics E-noses can be used for animal and human health research. They can detect disease in sheep and cattle and monitor their health, assisting with flock management and saving costs in treating specific animals rather than whole flocks.

Non-invasive diagnosis of the breath can detect some human diseases, and studies with The University of New South Wales are aimed at specifying an e-nose for early identification of lung cancer.

Mr Bell, who is also managing director of E-Nose Pty Ltd, said commercialization of the E-Nose is going forward steadily with the company building towards large orders from the transport sector with its anti-graffiti device.

"Our air pollution monitors continue to provide steady growth across the world and we are building distributors in Australasia and in a number of countries," he said. "So far we have distributors in South Africa, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and Shanghai, plus WA and SA.

"We have obtained Euro compliances and have strong interest from the UK and Europe. We are certainly planning for growth."

Mr Bell said the platform technology has many other potential applications in the environment, security and health sectors that can be addressed as growth proceeds.

"We offer an opportunity for an investor to join us at this good time: all the early risk has been dispensed with, the device concepts are proven and clear prospects in two global markets beckon," said Mr Bell.






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