Effect of functional group and carbon chain length on the odor detection threshold of aliphatic compounds

Autores UPV
Año
Revista Sensors

Abstract

Odor detection thresholds (ODTs) are used for assessing outdoor and indoor air quality. They are obtained experimentally by olfactometry and psychophysical methods, and large compilations are available in the literature. A non-linear regression equation was fitted to describe the ODT variability of 114 aliphatic compounds based on the alkyl chain length for different homologous series (carboxylic acids, aldehydes, 2-ketones, esters, 1-alcohols, amines, thiols, thioethers and hydrocarbons). The resulting equation reveals an effect of the functional group, molecular size and also an interaction between both factors. Although the mechanistic interpretation of results is uncertain, the relatively high goodness-of-fit (R 2 = 0.90) suggests that ODT values of aliphatic compounds can be predicted rather accurately, which is not the case for rigid molecules. This equation may serve as a basis for the development of more complex ODT models taking into account diverse structural features of odorants. The variability of power-law exponents was also investigated for the homologous series. © 2012 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.