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Specialty Chemistry Forums => Other Sciences Question Forum => Topic started by: ruffle on August 31, 2016, 10:09:56 PM

Title: How far something smells??
Post by: ruffle on August 31, 2016, 10:09:56 PM
Hi all,

I am just wondering if there are any way to estimate how far something (e.g. flowers) could be smelled. I am aware that it is dependent on odor concentration, but maybe there are some general formulas that gives rough estimates??

many thanks for any insights!!

Title: Re: How far something smells??
Post by: P on September 01, 2016, 01:20:40 AM
Wind speed and direction will play a part also. Maybe volatility of the scent.
Title: Re: How far something smells??
Post by: Yggdrasil on September 01, 2016, 08:23:40 AM
You could probably model the problem using Fick's laws of diffusion (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fick%27s_laws_of_diffusion).
Title: Re: How far something smells??
Post by: Arkcon on September 01, 2016, 01:50:52 PM
Also, humans have varying sensitivities to various chemicals, some can be smelled in very dilute amounts, others need to be more concentrated.  This is a way too complicated question to solve, as you've written it.
Title: Re: How far something smells??
Post by: P on December 15, 2016, 03:51:26 AM
Also, humans have varying sensitivities to various chemicals, some can be smelled in very dilute amounts, others need to be more concentrated.  This is a way too complicated question to solve, as you've written it.

yea - also I think some humans build up further sensitivities or tolerances to specific smells. I think I have become loess tolerant to the smell of styrene monomers and their derivatives over the years. The smell never used to bother me....  after 4 years of working with them nearly 20 years ago they actually made me feel horrible when I could smell them and just the slightest amount I could detect and shy away from. I remembered this recently when I was asked to look at some styrene for some reason and instantly remembered the smell and went all light headed. (It is supposed to be used in a fume hood, but even just seeing a bottle of the stuff sets my nose off, scrunching up in disgust). The styrene smell isn't all that bad (although carcinogenic I think), I actually like the smell in a way, but I have had too much of it and it makes me feel terrible in the head at the slightest exposure.... like a soreness in my nasal membranes, lips, throat and lungs. I would be happy never to get a wiff of it again.
Title: Re: How far something smells??
Post by: shiffdaddy on January 09, 2017, 05:21:02 PM
Every single time I work with diethyl ether, no matter how careful I am with the fume hood I still get a splitting headache.  Pisses me right off
Title: Re: How far something smells??
Post by: P on January 10, 2017, 11:51:16 PM
Every single time I work with diethyl ether, no matter how careful I am with the fume hood I still get a splitting headache.  Pisses me right off

Poor you - I used to like that smell. I think dichloromethane used to smell nice too. I can't remember which one smells of which, but both were nice iirc.