The paper presents the application of an electronic nose instrument to fast evaluation of agricultural distillates differing in quality. The investigations were carried out using a prototype of electronic nose equipped with a set of six semiconductor sensors by FIGARO Co., an electronic circuit converting signal into digital form and a set of thermostats able to provide gradient temperature characteristics to a gas mixture. A volatile fraction of the agricultural distillate samples differing in quality was obtained by barbotage. Interpretation of the results involved three data analysis techniques: principal component analysis, single-linkage cluster analysis and cluster analysis with spheres method. The investigations prove the usefulness of the presented technique in the quality control of agricultural distillates. Optimum measurements conditions were also defined, including volumetric flow rate of carrier gas (15 L/h), thermostat temperature during the barbotage process (15 °C) and time of sensor signal acquisition from the onset of the barbotage process (60 s).
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