Analysis of odorous gases with simultaneous GC-MS and sensory determination

Inka Orko, Jukka Lehtomäki, Erik Sandell, Mona Arnold

Research output: Book/ReportReport


Industrial odorous off-gases can consist of hundreds of different compounds giving cause to odour annoyance in the vicinity of the odour-emitting plant. For the identification of the odorous components in the gas, traditional analytical methods are not always sufficient since the odour threshold values cannot often be found in literature. This report decribes the development of a GC-MS sniffing port method for identifying odorous compounds in off-gases. In the method the sample is injected into a gas chromatograph and divided into two flows. The compounds in these sample flows are separated in two identical columns and detected simultaneously in a mass spectrometer and by sensory means. The olfactory detections are marked in the iongram and the odorous compounds are identified. Tenax TA adsorbent is generally used for collecting the odorous sample for analysis. The compounds are released from the adsorbent for analysis by thermal desorption. The report also decribes a case study where the GC-MS sniffing port method was applied to a gaseous emission from a food factory. Over ten odorous compounds could be identified.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)951-38-4864-7
Publication statusPublished - 1995
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes


  • analyzing
  • odors
  • gases
  • industrial plants
  • emissions
  • off-gases
  • odor control
  • odor detections
  • odor emissions
  • methods
  • detectors
  • measuring instruments

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