If genius is 99 percent perspiration, then summer’s arrival must make Mensa candidates of us all. A new nanotechnology-enhanced fabric tag by Odegon Technologies, however, could help us ditch chemically iffy deodorants without leaving innocent bystanders gasping for oxygen. Measuring roughly 3×2 inches (7×4 cm), the underarm patch houses a three-dimensional mesh of activated carbon, which captures the molecules responsible for that not-so-fresh feeling.
Dubbed “Odour Tags,” the stink-eliminating patches are chemical-free, inert, odorless (naturally), and non-allergenic, according to the Shropshire, England-based firm. The tag can be integrated into the underarm area of the garment by clothing manufacturers or sold as an iron-on patch for application at home. In both cases, notes Odegon, the tag will remain permanently in place for the life of the clothing, no matter how many times it’s washed or dried.
The odor-eliminating tag will remain permanently in place, no matter how many times the garment is washed.
A brief chemistry lesson: Made from nanoporous carbon, the surface area of the active inner material is composed of myriad peaks and troughs, which attract and trap odor molecules by Van der Waals forces until the garment is cleaned and the molecules are flushed out.
Activated carbon itself has a storied history; it was patented in 1942 by the British Ministry of Defence for use in gas masks and CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear) protection suits.
Activated carbon was patented in the ’40s for use in gas masks and chemical-protection suits
“Odegon tags were discovered whilst formulating new materials for special filters to protect military personnel from lethal nerve gases and agents,” says Tom Rawlings, the company’s managing director. “We were right to assume that if the material met CBRN suit requirements, it would be able to tackle BO.”
Gee, we feel dumber already.