What happened in the odour world in 2021

bye 2021   One more year, here you have a small snapshot of all the things that happened along this year. We have posted over 120 news this year, so many, many things have happened in the odour world. Do you want to review them with us?

   We started the year with the news that the 7th NOSE conference NOSE2020 originally scheduled on April 18-21, 2021 in Taormina, was going to be held in pure virtual format. This conference was scheduled to be on the same week that the virtual conference of the Water Environmental Federation (WEF) Odors and Air Pollutants 2021. So it was a pretty intensive week of April watching presentations on odour management from 2 different events. I have to say that it is fantastic to have the videos available and watch them later with a bit more of time. 

   In January also me posted that the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) had launched an open call for experts to participate in several new standards related to Olfaction Devices. The organization was asking for volunteers to contribute to three new standards that will have a strong focus on specific applications of these devices. To date, there have been many advances on the 3 standards, I would say. Here in olores.org, we decided to follow each of us a different group. This news was a good one, as we already knew that the Working Group 41, dealing with IOMS was not working on that yet

   In February, we announced a new sponsored webinar: "Odorprep: new frontiers in odour control", where 4 experts would present different case studies. That webinar took place in March, and it was actually a great event. It is recorded in case you missed it, here

   Also in this month, we published that the scientific magazine Atmosphere published the paper titled “Summary and Overview of the Odour Regulations Worldwide”, written by 18 authors from Canada, Spain, USA, Poland, New Zealand, Austria, France, UK, Italy, Chile, Belgium, Colombia, China, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan. This paper was commenced in early 2016, and the authors have had over 50 (virtual) meetings at different daylight zones along these 4 years of work.

   Also on the topic of legislation, the first of December came into force the first legislation in the world that set general . The new German Air Quality regulation set a general limit of 1 odour hour in ambient air that cannot be exceeded more than 876 hours a year in residential areas.This is a general rule with, of course, some exceptions for example with some types of farms. The workshop that Mr Ralf Both gave during the last IWA Conference on this topic was quite ilustrative on the changes that are happening now. If you want to know more about this new odour regulation, we just translated this legislation into English for your convenience. Download it here.

   In Portugal, the Environment Agency announced the it was preparing a Guidance toolkit for odour management and control in Portugal.

   Every year, the Air quality in Europe (AQE) Report presents an updated overview and analysis of air quality in Europe. This year the AQE report edited by the European Environment Agency (EEA) failed short again to recognize the odours as a pollutant with a key impact on the air quality in Europe.

  In March, we posted that we got 78 abstracts for the 9th Odour & VOC/Air Emission Conference of the International Water Association (IWA) organized by us. In fact, that was the initial figure cause we received many more abstracts later. Later we published the preliminary program, and we opened the registration for our conference, but we had to take a decision on whether it was going to be a virtual conference or a traditional one.

  April was an absolutely terrific month for odour managers. Many things happened here, but the most important ones were the NOSE and WEF conferences. Both conferences concentrated in the very same week. Most presentations were recorded, and this is great, because you could check the recordings again with a bit more of time, but you lose some spontaneity along the way.

 NOSE 2021  networking WEF odor conference
Smiling faces at the NOSE 2020 Conference  Networking at the WEF Conference

   The following month, another significant event took place virtually: the online summer course of the International Society for olfaction and chemical sensing (ISOCS). Another set of interesting presentations that are still available on their website, provided you are an ISOCS member.

  Other influential events that happened in 2021 were the International Conference on Bio-chemical Processes for Air Pollution Control that took place the 25-27 of July 2021 in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, China, the 2nd edition of the International Webinar “Odours Monitoring and Treatment” organized by the Portuguese Association of Environmental Engineering that took place online on May 31st, the Suez aquaenviro ‘Practical Experiences of Odour Management’ Conference that was hold virtually on 15th June 2021.

  In Standardization, not much has been happening this year. Unfortunately, the work of the group dealing with a new Standard on Instrumental Odour Monitoring Systems just stopped. At this stage, the secretary of this group will probably change from the Netherlands to Italy. Mr. Domenico Cipriano has been proposed as the new convenor of this group and now a ballot has been launched to the rest of EU countries to start over the process again, on this issue. Why this process did not end in a standard or a technical guideline? Here you have some of our thoughts.

  Also in standardization, the usually active Committee E18 of ASTM released a few standards. Many of them are just revisions, such as the E2892-15, Standard Test Method for Odor and Flavor Transfer from Materials in Contact with Municipal Drinking Water, but some other were totally new standards. In total, 14 ASTM standards related to odours were published this year.

   ISO published at the end of 2020, but it was available in fact in 2021, the ISO 16000-28:2020 Indoor air — Part 28: Determination of odour emissions from building products using test chambers.

   In Europe, we were hoping for the publication of the revised EN 13725 this year, but it is not here yet. at this stage it is in editorial production, so it will be finally published next year. Also the draft of the part 9 of the EN 12255 dealing with Odour control and ventilation in Wastewater treatment plants has just been published in November. This is a very interesting document that is a revision of the existing standard published in 2002 and an important reference on this issue.

   In Germany, the draft of the revised VDI 3882 part 1 and VDI 3882 part 2 that deals with the calculation of the intensity and hedonic tone, respectively has just been published. Those were very old standards from the eighties that needed certainly a revision, although I am not sure if there have been many advances in these topics. In case you do not know, Mr. Jean-Michel Guillot, from AFNOR is organizing a group on these very same topics within CEN. The VDI 3475 part 7 was also published this year. This standard describes odour emission factors for biological waste treatment.

   In the Netherlands, the draft of standard NTA 9065 on Odour Measurement and Calculation was published. The news here is that nothing has happened in the whole 2021. The text provides requirements and instructions for the standard procedure for conducting odour testing in the Netherlands, and it has been divided in 2 parts: NTA 9065 Part 1 dealing with planning, execution and reporting of odour investigations and NTA 9065 Part 2 dealing with sampling and analysis. A possible explanation for this delay is that they are probably waiting for the final version of the EN 13725.

   In Spain, the  group that is working on a new Spanish Standard on odour mapping using odour observations with citizen science is having regular meetings at a steady pace. Last year we mentioned that the draft would be ready for this year, but I am afraid that no draft have been published yet. Cyntia and Ainhoa are attending those groups, and I can assure you that they are having many, many meetings on the issue.

   Talking about citizen science, this was the last year of the European Horizon 2020 DNOSES project. D-NOSES stands for Distributed Network for Odour Sensing, Empowerment and Sustainability. This 3 year-long project was supported by International Associations, experts in citizen science, odour and sustainability experts, local administrations and public bodies. The deliverables of this 3.2 million Euros project have been just published, so if you wish to become a "master" in the use of citizen science to map odours, here you have some documentation to enjoy.

   This article could not finish without mentioning THE event of this year related to odour management, at least in our opinion. I have to say that when I was in Hangzhou proposing Bilbao as the next place to organize the IWA conference, I was confident that it would be the greatest event of al times. I was sure we were going to beat San Francisco and Barcelona with a record of attendance. That was well before all this coronavirus pandemia crisis started. With 155 attendees we did not beat those numbers, so I am afraid that we did not reach our goal.

   However, I think that all in all, we had a great Conference, we enjoyed it a lot, and the most important thing, we had fun!. We could see ourselves face to face and it was a great way to end this year. Thanks to our sponsors that helped us and thanks to you if you happened to be there!


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Carlos Nietzsche Diaz Jimenez's Avatar

Carlos Nietzsche Diaz Jimenez

Carlos is the editor-chief of olores.org and has been in the odour world since 2001. Since then, Carlos has attended over 90 conferences in odour management, both national and international and authored a few papers on the subject. He has also organized a few international meetings and courses. Carlos owns a small company named Ambiente et Odora (AEO). He spends his free time with his wife and his twins, Laura and Daniel, and of course, writing on olores.org.

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