Ron E. Sheffield and Pius Ndegwa
PNW 595 | January 2008


Agricultural odors are a combination of many different gases in extremely low concentrations. The slightest difference in composition can alter the way a person perceives the odor. To distinguish among different odors, the concentration of gases must be measured. Determining the exact composition of an odor is very difficult, expensive, and time consuming. Two common approaches used to measure odors are explored in this publication. They are gas measurement (equipment) and odor measurement (people). Both have pros and cons.

About the authors

Ron E. Sheffield
Waste management engineer, Assistant professor
University of Idaho
Pius Ndegwa
Animal waste nutrients, air quality specialist and assistant professor
Biological Systems Engineering Department, Washington State University

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