Not e-nose, but ‘we-nose’: Cooperation is the key to progress

Source: Port of Rotterdam Authority

The Port of Rotterdam Authority is collaborating with a number of different parties in the port of Rotterdam to extend the we-nose network. With so many partners, cooperation is a must. Environmental Engineer Vincent Smit of BP Raffinaderij Rotterdam B.V.: ‘It’s a real learning process.’

The interface between the public and business is often thin. This means that open communication is very important. The we-nose project is a good example of this’

Frank Schellenboom, Gebiedscommissie Rozenburg

The we-nose network consists of e-noses. An e-nose is a measurement instrument for recording changes in the air’s composition at various locations and sending that data wirelessly to a control room or environmental agency. The system of ‘electronic noses’ is particularly handy for preventing odour nuisance as a consequence of the unintentional release of substances or gasses in time. In 2015 more than 150 e-noses will be in place. In 2016 the number of electronic noses in the immediate residential vicinity of the port will increase to no less than 250.

The we-nose network is a valuable investment in a healthier, sustainable and safer environment for those living near the port of Rotterdam. According to Frank Schellenboom of the Gebiedscommissie Rozenburg (area committee), it is important to realise that incidents cannot always be prevented. ‘But this does not detract from the fact that they can be kept as small as possible.’ According to Vincent Smit of BP Raffinaderij Rotterdam B.V., the provision of information is a unique aspect of the e-nose. ‘It is important here that a hands-on expert translates this into concrete terms. For example, what does the information obtained mean for local residents?’

The various interests in the surrounding area mean that we are connected with one another.’

Vincent Smit , Environmental Engineer, BP Raffinaderij Rotterdam B.V.

In developing the we-nose network, various interests are represented, for example those of such companies as BP or Vopak, but also those of local population clusters such as Westvoorne or Rozenburg. In addition to these, there are supervisory organisations like the Rijnmond Environmental Protection Agency (DCMR). ‘It is important that the parties involved cooperate with each other,’ says Smit. Schellenboom: ‘Local residents know that they live in an industrial environment, but also that such developments mean that thought is being given to their welfare.’ Good dialogue is therefore important, as well as sharing new developments. Smit: ‘It must be noted here that current communications and transparency regarding the network are not fully developed.’

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