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
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.