Estimating Odour Nuisance From a Conventional Swine Farm

Joanna Kośmider.

West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, Poland.
Laboratory for Odour Quality of the Air;

Funding: no funding declared.

Competing interests: The author has declared that no competing interests exist.

Academic editor: Carlos N Díaz.

Citation: Kośmider J.(2010) Estimating Odour Nuisance From a Conventional Swine Farm.

Receipt: 18 de August 2010; Acepted 20 August 2010; Published 21 September 2010.

Copyright: 2010 open access Creative Commons, It is allowed to download, reuse, reprint, modify, distribute, and/or copy articles in website, as long as the original authors and source are cited. No permission is required from the authors or the publishers.

Keywords: Odours, legislation, Swine Farm, Artificial Olfaction, field olfactometry, olfactometry, pig house, manure pond.


   Our laboratory for Odour Quality of the Air has been operating since the eighties. At a first stage, fish processing factories was the main topic of our research with a special focus on outlet gas composition, effectiveness of deodorization - chemisorption, etc. Later, the laboratory team, assisted by graduates and doctoral students, conducted a long-term research on nuisance of production of phosphoric acid and phosphate fertilizers [Kośmider, Mazur-Chrzanowska 1997, 1998]. In this point, we carried out several studies related with olfactometric emission measurements, deodorizing effectiveness, odour dispersion modelling and field verification of modelling dispersion data. In addition, research in the field of psychophysics (dependence of odour intensity upon odour concentration, olfactory interactions, etc.) [Kośmider, Wyszyński 2002; Kośmider 2003; Kośmider, Sosialuk 2004] and works on the GC-NN artificial olfaction system were commenced [Kośmider, Krajewska 2005; Wagner M, et al. 2006]. The experience gained at this stage made possible the implementation of legal regulations regarding odour nuisance in Poland [Kośmider 2005].

   In recent years, particular attention has been given to odour nuisance problems from livestock facilities. Several research studies have been conducted in mink and swine farms. The aim of this report is to show the techniques used at that time illustrated in the example of a swine farm. Another goal of this work is to check if the odour emission factor considered could fit well with real data obtained in the field.

   The case study included field measurements in the pollution plume aiming at verifying the results of odour dispersion modelling in the vicinity of a farm [Friedrich, Kośmider 2009]. In addition, the odour emission rates from a pig house and a manure pond [Friedrich, Kośmider 2010] were determined.

   Odour dispersion modelling was performed in accordance with the method recommended by the Ministry of the Environment of Poland [Dz.U. 2010]. This model is a Gaussian model and meteorological conditions during the measurements were set as input. In this regard, different advantages, defects and limitations of Gauss models are recently questioned by several authors [Schauberger et al. 2000; Schauberger et al.  2001; Boeker et al. 2000].

   In agreement with a study of Odour Impacts and Odour Emission Control Measures for Intensive Agriculture prepared by OdourNet UK Ltd. for the Irish EPA. [EPA  R&D Report Series 2002] the odour emission factor was assumed to be 30ouE/s∙pig.

   The measurements of instantaneous odour concentrations were conducted at different points of the pollution plume in five different meteorological situations. To this effect, data from four Nasal Ranger Field Olfactometers [NRCS 68-3A75-5-157 Minnesota 2009; Cid José; Kośmider, Krajewska 2007] was collected. In addition, a complementary method of evaluation of odour intensity by category scale was used (fig. 1).

 Field olfactometry and Field pannels
 Figure 1. Measurement in the odour plume by means of (1) Nasal Ranger Field Olfactometer  and (2) odour intensity evaluation method

   The results showed a satisfactory correlation of the odour dispersion modelling data with the direct olfactometric measurement (fig. 2).

 Figure 2. Comparison of calculated odour concentration in a swine farm-  cod-1h [ouE/m3] with  field measurements carried out with a Nasal Ranger Field Olfactometer - cod-2-3min [ouE/m3]

 Air samples were collected in one of the swine farms and in one of the manure ponds. Our goal at this stage was to check if the odour emission factor considered could fit well with real data obtained in the field. The lung method was used during sampling in the pig house. Samples from the manure pond surface were collected by means of a vented floating hood especially designed to this purpose (fig. 3).

 Figure 3. Sample collection from a manure pond and a pig house

 Samples were transported to a mobile laboratory and odour concentration was determined with the help of a TO7 dynamic olfactometer (fig. 4), in accordance with the PN-EN Norm [PN-EN 13725:2007].


 olfactometric analysis
 Figure 4. Determination of odour concentration in a mobile olfactometrical laboratory

Figure 5 shows the results of all the subsequent odour concentration measurements as well as those performed following the PN-EN 13725 Norm.

pig house
manure pond
 Figure 5.  The results of odour concentration measurements (cod [ouE/m3]) in the collected samples;
pink points – measurements meet the conditions of the PN-EN 13725

   Odour concentration measurements results (cod [ouE/m3] - average) were used to estimate odour emission rates (qod [ouE/s]). The estimated values of odour emission factors, related to a pig unit: 16 ouE/s (average), 45 ouE/s (maximum), proved to be similar to the values obtained by a Dutch laboratory in summer time [EPA  R&D Report Series 2002].

 geom. average Cod [ouE/m3
 manure pond

 pig house

 manure pond





   The level of odour nuisance in a swine farm was estimated on the basis of our calculated odour emission rate, considering the wind rose in Szczecin-Dąbie (Figure. 6). 

 wind rose and dispersion map
 Figure 6.  Results of odour dispersion modelling – 8 and 3% probability of threshold excedance over a year for an odour threshold  cod -1h  = 1 ouE/m3

   The results of this estimation showed that in near built-up areas, an average 60-minute odour concentration is higher than 1 ouE/m3 no more than 8% of hours a year. It means that the farm would meet the statutory odour nuisance legislation under the Polish odour nuisance prevention bill (przeciwdziałaniu uciążliwości zapachowej) [Ustawa - Projekt 2009/02/27 ]:

Cod ,0,92 -1h = ouE/m3    (from year 2013:  Cod, 0,97 -1h = 1 ouE/m3).


  • Boeker P., Wallenfang O., Koster F., Croce R., Diekmann D., Griebel M., Schulze Lammers P. (2000): The Modelling of Odour Dispersion with Time-Resolved Models. Agrartechnische Forschung 6  Heft 4, 84-89
  • Cid José: Olfactmetría de campo en España con el Nasal Ranger®;
  • Dz.U. 2010 nr 16 poz. 87; Rozporządzenie Ministra Środowiska z dnia 26 stycznia 2010 r. w sprawie wartości odniesienia dla niektórych substancji w powietrzu
  • EPA -Environmental Research: Odour Impacts and Odour Emission Control Measures for Intensive Agriculture, R&D Report Series 2002, No. 14
  • Friedrich M., Kośmider J. (2009): Weryfikacja prognozy zapachowej uciążliwości. Przykład fermy trzody chlewnej, Ochrona Powietrza i Problemy Odpadów nr 4, 128-136, 2009
  • Friedrich M., Kośmider J. (2010): Oszacowanie wskaźnika emisji zapachowej. Przykład tuczu świń, Ochrona Powietrza i Problemy Odpadów  nr 2, 37-44, 2010
  • Kośmider J. (2003): Model analizatora intensywności zapachu; Archiwum Ochrony Środowiska Vol. 29 nr 3, s. 17-30
  • Kośmider J. (2005): Projektowane standardy zapachowej jakości powietrza i możliwości oceny skutków wprowadzenia regulacji.  Ochrona Powietrza i Problemy Odpadów 3, 77-82
  • Kośmider J., Krajewska B. (2005): Odour Chromatography. GC Detector Treated as Sensors Field;  ISOEN’2005, Barcelona 13-15.04.2005,   Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Olfaction and Electronic Nose - ISOEN’2005 pp. 374-376
  • Kośmider J., Krajewska B. (2007): Measurements of temporary values of odour concentration Polish Journal of Environmental Studiem, Vol. 16, No. 2, 215-225
  • Kośmider J., Mazur-Chrzanowska B. (1997): Odour annoyance in production of phosphoric acid. EURODEUR’97 Congress: Masking and deodorization - physiology and perception.. Actes des conferences, Paris, 25-26 czerwca 1997
  • Kośmider J., Mazur-Chrzanowska B. (1998): Uciążliwość zapachowa. Terenowa weryfikacja wyników obliczeń komputerowych, Archiwum Ochrony Środowiska Vol. 24 nr 3, 7-21
  • Kośmider J., Sosialuk M. (2004): Zależność intensywności zapachu od stężenia odorantów, Archiwum Ochrony Środowiska Vol. 30 nr 2, s. 3-16
  • Kośmider J., Wyszyński B. (2002): Relationship between odour intensity and odorant concentration: logarithmic or power equation?,  Archiwum Ochrony Środowiska Vol. 28 nr 1, s. 29-41
  • NRCS 68-3A75-5-157  (2009)  Project Wisconsin's Dairy And Livestock, Odor and Air Emission, Madison, Wisconsin
  • PN-EN 13725:2007 Jakość powietrza. Oznaczanie stężenia zapachowego metodą olfaktometrii dynamicznej  (EN 13725:2003 Air Quality. Determination of odour  concentration by dynamic olfaktometry)
  • Schauberger G. Piringer M., Petz E. (2000): Diurnal and annual variation of the sensation distance of odour emitted by livestock buildings calculated by the Austrian odour dispersion model (AODM); presented at the 2nd International Conference on Air Pollution from Agricultural Operations, Iowa October 2000
  • Schauberger G., Piringer M., Petz E. (2001): Separation distance to avoid odour nuisance due to livestock calculated by the Austrian odour dispersion model (AODM).  Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 87,  13–28
  • Ustawa z dnia . . .2009 r. o przeciwdziałaniu uciążliwości zapachowej, Projekt 2009/02/27, Ministerstwo Środowiska, Warszawa
  • Wagner M., Sudhoff H., Zamelczyk-Pajewska M., Kośmider J., Linder R. (2006): A computer-based approach to assess the perception of composite odour intensity: a step towards automated olfactometry calibration.   Physiological Measurement Vol. 27 no. 1, pp. 1-12
Carlos Nietzsche Diaz Jimenez's Avatar

Carlos Nietzsche Diaz Jimenez

Carlos is the editor-chief of 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

All the content here under Creative Commons license