Part 2: Odor-Cued Grab Sampling of Transient Environmental Odor Events; Mapping the 'Rolling Unmasking Effect' of Downwind Odor Dispersion

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Wright, Donald
Parker, David
Iwasinska, Anna
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Koziel, Jacek
Professor Emeritus
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Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

The Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering seeks to apply knowledge of the laws, forces, and materials of nature to the construction, planning, design, and maintenance of public and private facilities. The Civil Engineering option focuses on transportation systems, bridges, roads, water systems and dams, pollution control, etc. The Construction Engineering option focuses on construction project engineering, design, management, etc.

The Department of Civil Engineering was founded in 1889. In 1987 it changed its name to the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering. In 2003 it changed its name to the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering.

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  • Department of Civil Engineering (1889-1987)
  • Department of Civil and Construction Engineering (1987-2003)
  • Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering (2003–present)

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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Downwind odor characteristics can be very different depending upon the size of the upwind point-source, interim topography, and wind conditions. At one extreme, the downwind odor plume from a relatively large, confined animal feeding operation (CAFO), located on a flat open plain and under stable, near-straight-line wind conditions can be rather broad, sustained and predictable relative to a fixed receptor site downwind. In contrast, the plume from a small point-source (e.g., a roof vent stack) located on irregular topography and under rapidly shifting wind conditions can be intermittent and fleeting. These transient odor events can be surprisingly intense and offensive, in spite of their fleeting occurrence and perception. This work reports on efforts to optimize an environmental odor sampling strategy, which is optimized for the challenges of (1) sampling of such transient odor 'spikes' and (2) the prioritization of odors/odorants from multiple, closely co-located point-sources, under such transient event conditions. Protocol refinement has emerged by way of 2 environmental odor assessment projects which have been undertaken on behalf of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The challenge of transient odor events has been mitigated utilizing rapid, odor cued whole-air grab capture sampling into metalized-FEP gas sampling bags, followed by immediate adsorption transfer onto SPME fibers or sorbent tubes for stabilization during the shipment and storage interval between collection and final analysis. Initial results demonstrated approximately 11 fold increases in target odorant yields for 900 mL sorbent tube transfers from 2-3 second 'burst' odor event bag-captures, as compared to equivalent direct collections at the same downwind receptor location but during perceived (stable) odor 'lull' periods. Results-to-date targeting refinement and field trials of this integrated environmental odor assessment strategy are presented. Preliminary application targeting general odor sampling and point-source differentiation utilizing tracer gases is also presented.


This is a pre-print of the article Wright, Donald, Jacek Koziel, David Parker, and Anna Iwasinska. "Part 2: Odor-Cued Grab Sampling of Transient Environmental Odor Events; Mapping the 'Rolling Unmasking Effect' of Downwind Odor Dispersion." (2020): 2020080520. DOI: 10.20944/preprints202008.0520.v1.