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The Electronic Nose

           Recent research in the field of computer science is collaborating the principles of Biology with various computer science technologies, in this edition, the Electronic Nose is again a very revolutionary step. It is another effort in utilizing human-like senses in electronic devices. The Electronic Nose (or e-nose) is a relatively new device that not only helps in sensing the various odors of chemicals, environmental hazard substances, and vapors but also in process monitoring, safety control, and quality control.

The Electronic Nose utilizes the concepts of sensor technology, biochemistry, electronics, and Artificial Intelligence to design the biological olfactory system with an instrument capable of identifying the aroma mixture.

Typically Electronic Nose consists of a multi-sensor array, an information processing unit utilizing the concepts of Artificial Neural Network (ANN), software with digital pattern-recognition algorithms, and a reference Library system. The e-nose has been a great help in performing procedures in a few minutes that requires many hours or even days to complete and also in detecting complex odors. It is a smart device that is designed to detect and discriminate among various odors using the array of sensors developed. In order to perform these kinds of odor detection, it includes the sampling system, an array of chemical gas sensors, an Analog to Digital converter, a microprocessor (based on a pattern recognition system, and classification system), and a controlling system.

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The four main functional components of the Electronic Nose are as follows:

Functional components of the Electronic Nose

Functional components

  1. A sample handler for odor vapor input
  2. An array of sensors
  3. A signal processing system
  4. System for the pattern recognition system
Circuit Diagram of the Electronic Nose

The Sample Delivery System:

The sample delivery system enables the generation of the headspace of volatile compounds which are fractionally analyzed. After analyzing this sample it is sent to the headspace of the detection system in the electronic nose.

The Detection System:

The detection system of the Earphone is the most reactive part of the Ear Phone when it comes to contact with volatile compounds causing changes in the electric characteristics.

The Computing System:

In this process, various signals of odors are stored and when a particular odor comes then the specific response is sent in the form of a digital signal. The cross reference array is composed of incrementally different sensors chosen to respond to the wide range of chemical ranges and discriminate a diverse mixture of possible analytics. Identification and classification of the analyte mixture are conducted through recognition of the unique aroma digital signature. These results are validated and stored in the reference Library for further help.

Working Principle of Electronic Nose

Working Principle of the Electronic Nose

The Electronic Nose has been developed to mimic the human Olfaction system, it consists of a sensor array, pattern reorganization modules, and headspace sampling that helps in characterizing the smell, as discussed before the Electronic Nose consists of a detecting system, computing system, and sample delivery system. The digital output of the electronic nose is required to be analyzed, this is done either by graphical analysis, multivariate data analysis, and Network analysis.

Application of Electronic Nose

  • The Electronic Nose due to its advanced sensing features is being greatly utilized in various manufacturing Industries.
  • It helps in maintaining quality control and grading, product uniformity and consistency, processing controls, gas leak detection and environmental effluents monitoring.
  • It is extensively used in Medical research as well. In chemical Industries such as Food Processing, Cosmetics, and various other manufacturing units.
  • It is also used in Volatile Emission assessments, homeland security, environmental protection, biomedical medication, personal safety, and product development research.
  • The e-nose with its advanced sensor capabilities can extend its applications to various associated fields like agriculture, biomedical, cosmetics, environmental, food, pharmaceutical, and various other scientific research fields.
  • With its high capabilities, more accurate results, consistency, quality control capabilities, and various other facilities are available for Industrial growth.
  • The Electronic nose has brought a revolution in the field of research. It has become a great help for humanitarian growth and making a better working environment by facilitating better services in less time with a reduction in cost.


Computer Science has progressed a lot and its applications in various fields are overwhelming, the Electronic nose is a significant edition in this series. It is a device that works on the principle of sensing various odors. The electronic nose utilizes the principles of neural network pattern recognition and other features. A lot of research is going on and in the near future, a far better version of Electronic Nose will be available with advanced and enhanced features.

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