zNose Detection - Security Applications


National Security, Military and Law Enforcement


The zNose 4500 is the first electronic nose designed for security applications and has featured at the recent ASIS International Security Exhibition.


Based upon ultra-high speed gas chromatography (GC), the zNose is a powerful new tool for detection of odours and chemical vapours produced by explosives, chemical and biological weapons.


The zNose will also detect contraband of all kinds, hazardous industrial materials, improvised explosive as well as some flammable materials.

Unlike standard trace detectors (such as IMS), which only detect a few select compounds, the zNose recognises odours and fragrances based upon their full chemical signature.


The zNose detects all compounds within an odour and provides a full chemical profile (within its dynamic range of C4-C24) of the whole sample. In seconds.


Even materials like TATP, an explosive substance recently in the news globally, can easily be detected.


Other explosive compounds detectable using the zNose include RDX, TNT, C4, C5 and black powder.

Using ultra-high speed GC to separate chemicals in near real time, pattern recognition and trace detection can be performed in seconds with a zNose instrument. Hundreds of samples can be run in a single shift.


The zNose is designed to complement rather than replace conventional trace detectors and canines. The 'layered approach' to security and customs now internatioanlly being adopted.

There are many national security and law enforcement applications for electronic noses, such as screening and monitoring public buildings and transportation facilities, searching cargo containers and vehicles for contraband, and detecting hidden explosives and chemical weapons.

In addition, first responders can use the zNose to analyse suspicious odours and to detect chemical odours from clandestine drug laboratories and transportation vehicles of all types.


The zNose can adaptively learn to recognise, and alert on any target odour within its dynamic range (C4 - C24).

  • Security Screening in Public Buildings and Transportation Facilities
  • Locating Contraband in cargo containers, trucks, and vehicles
  • Detecting Odours from Explosives and Chemical Weapons Airport, Port and Border Security
  • Screening Departing Passengers and Luggage for a variety of illegal and explosive compounds and chemical agents with this patented technology
  • Cargo Containers and Imported Freight Screening
  • Existing non-visual screening techniques focus upon the detection of metal-containing weapons
  • Existing X-Ray screening technology is limited to identifying obvious visual threats
  • zNose technology complements existing screening techniques by allowing detection of non-metallic hidden threats
  • Incoming shipments are analyzed for potential threats by the Znose’s technology
  • Explosives, narcotics, and other contraband are detected and identified upon homeland entry


For further security applications from the zNose please see the following PDFs: