Study suggests copper-derived nano deodorant to be more effective

By Simon PItman

- Last updated on GMT

Scientists from the University of Florida say research they are conducting could unlock the secret to improve the containment of bad odors, especially for deodorants.

Research headed by Dr. Brij Moudgil and colleagues at the university’s Particle Engineering Center found that a deodorant made from nanoparticles could eliminate odors twice as effectively as today’s industry gold standard.

Although the research has centered on household deodorants, the scientists say they are also testing the nanoparticle material developed during the research for use in personal care deodorants.

Eliminating bad odors, rather than masking them

The main pretext of their research is the tendency of conventional deodorants to mask bad odors, rather than actually eliminating the odor.

The base for the new material used in the experiments is nano silica approximately 1/50,00the the width of a human hair, which is commonly derived from beach sand.

This nano silica is in turn coated with a nano-derived copper compound, which the scientists chose because of both its anti-bacterial properties and its anti-odor function.

Nano copper compound may pose lower toxicity risk

Although a normal-sized copper compound may pose a toxicity risk for use in personal care products, the researchers say they believe this issue may be eliminated due to the use of nano particles.

“Currently our assessment is that nano copper compound could be used for personal care deodorants, although we have to do further testing in this area to verify that there is definitely no toxicity risk,”​ Dr. Moudgil told USA.

“Our research indicates that there is a direct correlation to the size of the particle and the risk of toxicity – the smaller the particle, the smaller the risk.”

Higher surface area means increase efficacy

So far the researchers have found using nano silica, the copper has a greater surface area to cover due to increased pore adsorption, which in turn raises the efficacy of the material’s deodorizing function.

The research programme has concentrated on testing the nanoparticle material on ethyl mercapten, the substance that gives natural gas its unpleasant odor, and showed that the particles were twice as effective at removing the odor as the gold standard, which is activated carbon.

“The present study suggests that copper compounds present in silica pores are more efficient in the removal of ethyl mercapten than copper clusters present on silica surface,”​ the report authors stated.

The University of Florida scientists say that on top of verifying the toxicity issue, they future research will also concentrate on identifying the nature of the copper species present in silica in order to further optimize the removal of odors.

Beiersdorf leads way in nano deodorant research

Germany-based personal care giant Beiersdorf is said to be leading the way in the research and development of nano-based deodorants.

It recently opened up an R&D center in Hamburg, the Centre for Applied Nanotechnology, which is dedicated to the study of nanoparticles in personal care formulas, in particular for use in both deodorants and sun care.

Beiersdorf already markets a number of deodorant products that include nanotechnology and is looking to expand on its use of the technology through its investment into further research and development.

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