CONTROLLING ODORS IN DUCT WORK
The current scientific data of how we actually smell odors proposes that odor molecules fit into smell receptor sites inside our noses bases on their shapes and sizes. Thus, a combination of odor molecules fitting into a specific group of receptors will send a message to our brain that we smell a certain odor and recognize it as such. So it stands to reason that if we eliminate odor molecules, or change them so that they no longer fit in the receptors in our noses the same way as before, we can reduce odor problems.
Locating the source and cleaning the area are also reasonably straightforward. The substances to be removed dictate the types of cleaning methods and the products used.
Treatment of residues can take many forms. Selection of a particular treatment depends on the problem being addressed. Generally there are eight types of deodorizers available, and each works in a different fashion:
- Absorbents- are solid materials, usually in powdered or granular form. Absorbents act to scrub odor molecules from the air, IE, activated charcoal.
- Biocides-kill or inhibit the growth of odor causing molecules and set up an odor barrier.
- Encapsulants-coat odor molecules and set up and odor barrier.
- Enzymes-eat up odor-causing organic products, such as grease and food.
- Molecular modifiers-change the physical structure of the odor molecules and cause them to be perceived differently in our noses.
- Neutralizers-halt off-gassing caused by chemical reactions. Neutralizing a sulfuric acid reaction will eliminated the associated sulfur smell.
- Oxidizers-speed up the organic decomposition process and “use up” the available odor causing source materials. Skunk odors and stale food smells in refrigerators respond well to oxidizers.
- Masking agents-are not really deodorizers, but are commonly used in conjunction with the above products to replace the unpleasant smells while the products are working to eliminate the odor source.