After learning in class how breathalyzers work, Robert Clain and Miguel Salas assembled a fart detector from a sensitive hydrogen sulfide monitor, a thermometer and a microphone and wrote the software that would rate the emission. A “slight perturbance in the air” near the detector sets it to work measuring the three pillars of fart quality: stench, temperature and sound. Temperature, Clain explains, is critical. The hotter a fart, the faster it spreads. “It beeps faster if it’s a high ranker, and a voice rates it on a scale of zero to nine,” he says. “If it ranks a nine, a fan comes on to blow it away. It even records the noise so you can play it back later.” After a few months of construction, they began field tests. “Well, the sample data wasn’t the entire school, but we definitely tested it,” Salas says.
The developers suggest that their invention could be used to evaluate the health of livestock, detect hydrogen-sulfide-producing bacteria in hospitals, or test for bad breath.
http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2009-08/there-scientific-way-measure-fart-smell via GearFuse
Photo credit: Robert Clain and Miguel Salas