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Florida Nano-tech Team Declares War On Bad Odors

8 years ago40.9K views

Researchers at the University of Florida have developed an odor killer they say is five times more effective than anything on the market. The substance is made up of microscopic nano-particles that decompose and neutralize foul-smelling molecules. Here's more.

Last month more than 900 tons of garbage piled up on the streets of Marseille as garbage collectors went on strike.

Citizens had no choice but to pick it up themselves. They wore plastic sheets to cover their clothes and masks to cover their faces, all in an effort to avoid the reeking stench.

But researchers at the University of Florida in Gainesville say they could have provided a far more effective solution. The team has developed a nano-sized particle they say can kill the most vile of odors.

[Brij Moudgil, Professor of Particle Engineering]:
"There are quite a few of the powders or materials that will mask the odors. In our case, we were much more interested in killing the odor at its source."

Most unpleasant smells are created when organic compounds break down and release volatile chemicals, like sulphur. An example of such sulphurous stench comes from feces. The odor is produced when bacteria break down food during the digestion process.

Moudgil and his team have designed a particle hundreds of times smaller than a single grain of sand. The particle is made of silica that is coated with tiny bits of a copper compound. The copper compound acts as a catalyst which decomposes and neutralizes any foul smelling odor molecules it touches.

The researchers say their particles are five times more effective than anything currently on the market and would last ten times as long.

Graduate student, Amit Singh, says the team has declared war on bad smells.

Singh and Moudgil say their nanokillers won't become commercially available for another five to six years but already they feel flush with success.

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