Monitoring odour episodes in Vacarisses

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The Environment Centre Laboratory (LCMA) has signed a collaboration agreement with Vacarisses Town Council to carry out continuous monitoring of odour episodes that could occur in the municipality, mainly related to the Waste Treatment Centre (CTR) and the Coll Cardús landfill site. The monitoring will be based on assessing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which tend to be emitted by this type of activities and are mainly responsible for the odour episodes and discomfort.

LCMA will use numerical modelling techniques to determine the potential impact of the main emission-producing activities on the inhabited areas of Vacarisses municipality, to identify the origin of potential odour episodes, and register their frequency and changes in impact. In addition, odour episodes will be continuously controlled through a network of sensors installed at five points in the town. Samples will be taken during these episodes when an increase in concentration of VOCs is detected in installed sensors. The samples will subsequently be monitored chemically to determine qualitatively and quantitatively the COVs that are emitted (the concentration of each contaminant in the air that we breathe).

These compounds do not tend to be monitored at the origin of the emissions. The information that is gathered will form an excellent database to assess the potential impact of activities that produce air emissions of compounds that have an odour component and to assess whether they are toxic, harmful, irritant, carcinogenic, etc.

LCMA has equipment and methods designed specifically for capturing and analysing compounds that potentially generate odour episodes. They enable dynamic collection with distinct characteristics to ensure the quality of the capture (continuous monitoring equipment for pollutants through electronic sensors, activation of sampling depending on adjustable parameters, adapting of the sampling to the local contamination conditions, etc.).

The project will last three years (2021 to 2024) and has a total cost of 65,642.50 euros.

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