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Meteosim and Olfasense join forces against environmental pollution due to odours

By 27 de November de 2019No Comments
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Team of Meteosim and Olfasense (Photo: Parc Científic de Barcelona).

Meteosim and Olfasense join forces against environmental pollution due to odours

The Catalan company Meteosim, based at the Barcelona Science Park, has signed an alliance with the German multinationa Olfasense to provide a comprehensive solution in the smart management of bad odours and resulting conflicts. Through this alliance, the two companies integrate their leading technology in the Ortelium platform, which enables the analysis of the environmental impact of past, current and future episodes, and includes advanced complaint management tools, facilitating smart decision-making in real time.


The Catalan company Meteosim, and a world reference in air pollution modelling, has signed a strategic alliance with the German multinational Olfasense, global leader in odour consulting and management for the industrial sector.

Through this alliance both companies integrate their leading technology in a single platform, Ortelium, which combines big data, artificial intelligence and the internet of things (IoT)
to provide a comprehensive odour management solution for companies and public organisations with activities that generate atmospheric emissions with an odour-related impact on the environment. Complementary to this technological union of forces, Meteosim also becomes the exclusive partner of Ortelium sales in Spain and Colombia.

Meteosim and Olfasense have been developing this tool through an interdisciplinary team between Barcelona and Kiel for the past two years. Now it has reached the European and Latin American market, where it is well accepted.

“We are convinced that this strategic alliance will be a success. Ortelium is a powerful, unique and very effective solution. Sectors such as waste water treatment plants, and industries such as paper, chemical and food industries represent, regarding the determination of odour-related impact, a potential market of around €100m in Europe alone. Our goal is to take advantage of our experience in the global market to reach all continents, where Global turnover is estimated at more than €400 million”, explains Oriol de Tera, CEO of Meteosim.

The challenge of odour pollution management

Odour management is very complex and needs a combination of several technologies to provide a simple and adequate solution to the particular needs of each sector.

Ortelium is a dynamic atlas that collects, visualises, exploits and processes data from IoT sensors, numerical models and production plans, and enables the analysis of the environmental impact of past, current and future episodes, facilitating smart decision-making in real time for the management of odour-generating activities.

Having a system that can collect, process and analyse all monitored data provides valuable information, both for the detection of risky situations in a few seconds, and to be able to train or enrich predictive models that can complement this type of proactive environmental management solution. It also reduces costs and allows the effectiveness of odour control measures to be assessed prior to implementation.

The company wants to expand the scope of this environmental intelligence technology to incorporate a wide range of sectors with activity generating emissions into the atmosphere that cause annoying odours, where the need for smart atmospheric monitoring solutions is rapidly evolving: waste management, waste water treatment, waste treatment, food industry, chemicals, oil, and many others.

“Odours and derived problems are starting to be seen as a more important environmental pollutant on an atmospheric level. Currently, both public administrations and companies are aware that if they generate emissions into the atmosphere that can generate odours that are annoying to the surrounding population, they become problematic for productive activity and, therefore, threaten economic growth”, comments Martí de Riquer, the Meteosim Air Quality Business Manager.

Annoying odours, a real environmental problem

The Ortelium platform also includes advanced complaint management tools for annoying odours, which is a very important technological advance in sectors that need specialised support for the management of activities that generate annoying odours and derived conflicts.

Annoying odours from commercial or industrial activities represent a significant problem, as they are increasingly subject to complaints and concerns by citizens, who perceive them as a threat to quality-of-life and even health.

Recent studies reveal that people who are close to the development ofannoying odour-generating activities can develop health problems such as headache, insomnia, memory loss, concentration problems and, in the most severe cases, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, respiratory distress and psychological disturbances.

The European Court of Human Rights and contentious-administrative jurisprudence claim that odour pollution can affect people’s right to privacy at home. Even so, in Spain, as in most European countries, it is not considered in a general regulatory framework. Odour-related conflicts are partially addressed in local or regional air quality regulations. Because of this legal vacuum, and the lack of related technical studies, statistics on its incidence in the population are very scarce.
However, experts estimate that odour-related pollution affects 25% of the population in Spain. In Catalonia, it already represents 30% of the complaints lodged with the Regional Government’s regional agencies, according to data from the Department of Territory and Sustainability and Síndic de Greuges. In Europe, specialists warn that it is already the second most common cause for complaints, after noise. 

“Ortelium is an interesting technological tool to take a step forward in resolving conflicts arising from annoying odours. The possibility of being able to include citizen participation in the process of notification, evaluation and management of this type of incident opens an interesting path towards transparency between the operator and the people potentially affected in the resolution of conflicts within the immediate environment they share,” says Martí de Riquer.