Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Looking for an electronic nose

  1. Dec 24, 2009 #1

    I do not have much knowledge on engineering but please would someone help me look for a device like

    an electrical nose and tell me how I could acquire one.

    Let me be more descriptive:
    Say, this device might have a comopund attached to it that is made up of all kinds of odor elements.
    Now, using this device it should be able to sense and tell me what elements and its percentage

    quantity (from that compound) a certain odor is made up of.
    The end result could come out in a spreadsheet or a database.

    I earnestly look forward to a reply and any help will be much appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 24, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It sounds like you want a gas chromatograph. Very expensive equipment.

    Edit: BTW, the technology has probably improved a lot since I was a process chemist in a pulp mill (1978-1982), but we were using a Hewlett Packard GC that was big and bulky. You'd inject a syringe of sample through an injection port into a heated column. You would know approximately how much of each volatile organic compound was in the sample. Just study the graphic printout. A weakness of the system was that you'd have to change columns to measure VOCs of higher or lower molecular weights.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2009
  4. Dec 24, 2009 #3
    There are ICs that smell. I forget how many distinct sensors they need to cover 95% of smells. Perhaps they measure how many new molecules of a substance has landed on each sensor.
  5. Dec 24, 2009 #4
    I know that such things exist, but I haven't the slightest idea where to find them.
  6. Dec 24, 2009 #5
  7. Dec 24, 2009 #6
    Thanks everyone. Any more help?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook