New German Standard on electronic noses and their testing published in December

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vdi 3518 part3   A new German standard on electronic noses and their testing has been published in December. The recent VDI 3518 part 3 on "multigas sensors" is the continuation of the work made in parts 2 and 1 published in 2011 and 2014, respectively. This standard has focused on odour-related measurement, a special case of multigas sensors.

   The surprise here is that the reference method taken for calibration is not only olfactometry, but also instrumental analytics. That means that this standard deals not only with odour-related measurement but also with odorant-related measurement, which is not quite the same.

   Electronic odour measurement is intended to assist in detecting the presence of odours, differentiating between them, classifying them, and measuring the odorant concentration. In this standard, a measurement and analysis procedure is drawn up with the help of relevant samples of known composition and properties. According to the standard, is possible to produce a reference for the odour by using standardised olfactometry methods. This can be assisted by a poll of experts or customers.

   The VDI 3518 part 3 details a method for testing the equipment, another method for demonstrating metrological functionality, a method for demonstrating suitability for electronic odour measurements, and a final method for the use of electronic noses. According to this standard, even following these 4 methodologies, a successful application-based deployment of electronic noses will not be guaranteed.

   This standard is very much related to the work of the CEN WG 41 that is dealing with Instrumental Odour Monitoring Systems.

   Get the VDI 3518 part 3 on multigas sensors here.


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Carlos Nietzsche Diaz Jimenez
Carlos is the editor chief of and he has been in the odour world since 2001. Since then, Carlos has attended over 40 conferences in odour management both national and international and authored a few papers on the subject. He has also organized a few international conferences and courses. Carlos is the owner a very small company named SVPA and in he spends his free time with his wife and his twins Laura and Daniel and of course, writing in

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