Making Sense of Smells – Communicating Odors to Diverse Audiences - Part 2

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Proceedings available at: http://www.extension.org/67597 Smell is perhaps the least understood of our five senses. Yet, the human perception of odor may mean the difference between war and peace for a livestock farmer and his neighbors. Because the science of smells is complex, there is a tendency to run straight for the organic chemistry book when we try to describe farmstead odors. This approach goes right over the heads of most people. There must be a better way to communicate odors to diverse audiences. Come to this workshop and find out how.

Transcript of Making Sense of Smells – Communicating Odors to Diverse Audiences - Part 2

  • Making Sense of SmellsDiscussing Odors with Diverse AudiencesAnother Laboratory ExerciseDouglas W. HamiltonWaste Management SpecialistBiosystems and Agricultural Engineering

  • Rate Mystery LiquidsIntensityOffensiveness

  • Mystery Liquids TestedTap WaterCologneRaw Swine WastewaterFacultative Lagoon WastewaterCovered Anaerobic Lagoon WastewaterAerobic Lagoon Wastewater

  • Sniff TestIntensityScale = 0 to 6OffensivenessScale = 0 to 6

    #1#2#3#4How Strong?

    How Bad?

  • Intensity Scale0 = no odor1 = very faint2 = faint3 = distinct4 = strong5 = very strong6 = extremely strong

  • Offensiveness Scale0 = Inoffensive1 = Very faintly Offensive2 = Faintly Offensive3 = Definitely Offensive4 = Strongly Offensive5 = Very Strongly Offensive6 = Extremely Offensive

  • CologneResults from Spring 2010 Class

  • CologneResults from 2003-2010IntensityOffensiveness

  • ManureResults from 2003-2010IntensityOffensiveness

  • CologneResults from Spring 2010 Class

  • CologneResults from 2003-2010

  • Mystery Liquids TestedRaw Swine WastewaterFacultative Lagoon WastewaterCovered Anaerobic Lagoon WastewaterAerobic Lagoon Wastewater

  • Raw Manure

  • Raw ManureResults from 2006-2010

  • Raw ManureResults from 2006-2010

  • Results from 2003-2010 Raw Manure

  • Covered Lagoon

  • Results from 2006-2010 Raw ManureCovered Lagoon

  • Aerobic Lagoon

  • Results from 2003-2010 Raw ManureCovered LagoonAerobic Lagoon

  • Results from 2003-2010 Raw ManureCovered LagoonAerobic Lagoon

    **A number of liquids have been used in the experiment over the years.*Effluent from an algae filled, aerobic lagoon.Before the lab begins, inform students of the proper procedures for sniffing the samples:Open the sample bottle, wave smells towards the face, and close the bottle afterwards.Do not stick the nose directly into the sample bottle.**And Offensiveness.*Before the exercise begins, describe the intensity and offensiveness scales.Zero intensity means the liquid has no smell.Six means they cannot imagine anything smelling stronger.Two is a faint odor. Four is a strong odor, et cetera.*Zero Offensiveness means the odor is not offensive it might even smell good.Nothing could possibly smell worse than a odor given a six.Here are histograms taken from results gathered in 2010.The class of 29 students gave the cologne tainted water an average intensity of 3.45 (distinct to strong odor) and average offensiveness of 0.90 (very faintly offensive).But, there was a fairly wide range of opinions It is always interesting to see that at least a few students find the cologne strongly to very strongly offensive. After all, it is pretty cheap stuff.*The cologne stimulus has been presented to students in every exercise since 2003.You can see the shape of the histograms, all 187 responses are amazing similar to the single class data. *The cologne stimulus has been presented to students in every exercise since 2003.You can see the shape of the histograms, all 187 responses are amazing similar to the single class data. *This is the same data from 2010 plotted on Cartesian coordinates, averages plus and minus one standard deviation.Because of the skewed data, the error bars go into the negative range. It is not technically possible to have a negative offensiveness.This is perhaps a entry to introduce a logarithmic transformation.As a visual representation, though, the message gets across.Even though the odor is intense, it is fairly inoffensive; some might even consider it pleasant.*Plots from all seven classes fall within the same cloud of variability.**Effluent from an algae filled, aerobic lagoon.In the years between 2006 and 2010, liquids collected from various points in the OSU Swine Research and Education Center waste handling system have been presented to the students.*Raw manure taken from the buildings is almost consistent as the cologne data, with one year in four falling a little out of range.

    *This plot is the combined statistics of 4 classes and 99 students.On average, the students considered raw swine manure to be strong and strongly to very strongly offensive.*Another representation technique is to draw an ellipse around the average plus and minus one standard deviation All the opinions contained within the ellipse of average can be considered valid within the cloud of uncertainty.*The next liquid was taken after the raw manure had been treated in a covered anaerobic lagoon.*Results of the 99 stimuli showed that the student considered anaerobically treated manure to be an improvement in both odor intensity and offensiveness over raw manure.The cloud of uncertainty of the two samples barely touch.*Another sample was taken from an aerobic lagoon that treats effluent flowing from the covered lagoon.

    *Students found this to be further improvement in both intensity and offensiveness.Before you get too excited and start advocating aerobic treatment of swine manure.*Consider the results of liquids taken from a facultative lagoon treating manure from a similar farm.*The results of 88 students sampled between 2003 and 2006 showed similar results to the aerobic samples taken between 2006 and 2020.In fact the students decided on average that facultative effluent was slightly less offensive than aerobic lagoon effluent.A single-stage facultative lagoon may be just as effective in reducing odors as a two-stage anaerobic-aerobic lagoon.Release of ammonia and green house gases, well, thats another story.*