Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Publications

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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Toxicology, Environmental Science

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As natural scale-models for community environmental odor issues, these odorant prioritization results illustrate an important consideration: … ‘with respect to focusing an environmental odor issue, it is possible to look too closely at the source’… Although simple odor dilution, as measured by odor concentration and intensity, certainly occurs during downwind dispersive migration from the source, these authors propose that the term dynamic dilution is limiting with respect to environmental odor impact. The results presented herein suggest that the odor character from an environmental source can vary dramatically, depending upon the distance of the human receptors from that source. It is further suggested that the process of downwind environmental odorant prioritization can best be characterized as a rolling unmasking effect or RUE. The RUE is exhibited by the masking odors nearest the source sequentially ‘falling away’ with distance from the source, revealing a succession of increasingly simplified odor characteristic and composition. Because of scaling factors and meteorological unpredictability, the logistics involved in carrying-out odorant prioritization studies can be very challenging when targeting large-scale odor sources. However, for these authors’ illustrative purposes, these challenges were reduced significantly by selecting natural, ‘scale-model’ odor-sources which represented significant reductions in the primary scaling factors; especially, reductions in the size of the odor sources and the distance of their downwind reach. Driven by odorant prioritization and the RUE, extremes of odor simplification-upon-dilution were demonstrated for two Central Texas plant varieties, prairie verbena and virginia pepperweed. Their ‘odor frontal boundaries’ were shown to be dominated by single, character-defining odorants; prairie verbena presenting with a p-cresol dominated ‘barnyard’ odor and virginia pepperweed with a benzyl mercaptan dominated ‘burnt match’ odor. Similar odor simplification was also shown for the South American prehensile-tailed porcupine (i.e., pt porcupine); its downwind ‘odor frontal boundary’ dominated by two potent, character-defining odorants (i.e. as yet unidentified): (1) ‘onion’/‘body odor’ odorant #1 and (2) ‘onion’/‘grilled’ odorant #2. In contrast to their outer-boundary simplicities, each of these sources also presented, at the source, with odor compositions reflecting considerable complexity and corrresponding composite odor characters that were distinctly different from those reflected at their respective ‘odor frontal boundaries’.


This is a manuscript of the article Wright, D.W.; Koziel, J.A.; Parker, D.B.; Iwasinski, A.; Hartman, T.G.; Kolvig, P. Exploring Natural Models for the ‘Rolling Unmasking Effect’ of Downwind Odor Dispersion; Prairie Verbena, Prehensile-Tailed Porcupine and Virginia Pepperweed. Preprints 2018, 2018030094. DOI: 10.20944/preprints201803.0094.v1. Posted with permission.




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