What you need to know about odor elimination!
ODOR – An odor or fragrance is caused by one or more volatilized chemical compounds, generally at a very low concentration, that humans or other animals perceive by their sense of smell. It is how we perceive these compounds with our sense of smell that define an odor. ODORLESS – Chemical compounds that are not perceived as odor.
The odors that hunters are concerned with can be classified into some broad categories:
• Hydrogen Sulfide / Mercaptan: The rotten egg smell. Bacteria are the main source for hydrogen sulfide odors. Bacteria liberate hydrogen sulfide from sulfur-containing amino acids. Sulfide odors can be detected at very low concentrations.
• Ammonia: Pungent strong urine smell
• Skatoles: Pungent odor with flowery hint, think of rotting garbage.
The chemical structure of an odor molecule is what makes them detectable as odors. Odor elimination is a chemical transformation process that results in a molecule that is undetectable as odor. Upwind’s patented technology completes the transformation of odor molecules into odorless molecules rapidly and continuously.
Human Scent Identity
The human scent identity is comprised of a variety of different odor producing chemical compounds.
Our skin, hair, gland secretions, nutrition, medications, clothing, genetics, gender, and what we come into contact with in our daily routines collectively define our scent identity. Odor compounds produced by bacteria present on our bodies, clothing, and everywhere around us also contribute to our scent identity. Keep in mind, bacteria themselves do not stink, however the gasses they produce do stink.
It has been said that a human smells dinner cooking, but a dog smells every ingredient in the dinner.
Big game can detect multiple odors simultaneously in seconds. Big game can interpret, process, and associate odors with their environment quickly and can specifically pick out a human’s scent identity. As hunters, we know the ability of big game to detect our scent is extremely sensitive, and much stronger, faster, and more accurate at scent detection than ours.
Factors that influence scent detection include:
-Distance / proximity
-Concentration and density of the odor
-Type and consistency of the odor
-Temperature of the air and of you
-Humidity can influence scent detection
-Elevation – thermal air currents transport odors
-Wind speed, direction, and swirls
-Age and experience of the big game animal
So how can we reduce big game’s ability to detect our scent?
“The most effective way to conceal your scent is to eliminate the odor compounds that define your scent identity.” Here are some of the ways we can reduce big game’s ability to detect our scent.
One approach to reduce scent is to kill, capture or encapsulate the bacteria that produce odor compounds. Many enzyme and bio-control products are designed to target bacteria. Enzymes consume bacteria, biocides and sanitizers are designed to kill bacteria.
Some metal ions such as ions of copper are toxic to bacteria. In fact, copper surfaces are now being used in hospital surgery rooms to prevent the spread of infection. Copper infused textiles have also been shown to prevent bacteria from replicating. A bacterial approach effectively reduces some of the odor compounds that define our scent identity. However, the odors that define our scent go beyond bacterial odors.
Another approach is target compounds that are detected as odor.
Common approaches that target odor compounds include:
-Masking or covering odors: Pine, apple, and earth cover scents, coon urine, doe urine, etc.
-Encapsulate, adsorb, trap or filter odor compounds: Carbon, Zeolite, and other natural compounds
-Oxidation of odor compounds. Peroxides, baking soda, bleaches, and quite a few other oxidation technologies use oxygen to transform odor molecules into odorless molecules. These oxidation technologies are consumed in the reaction and offer limited effectiveness against large amounts of odors.
So what works best for hunters?
Consider something controversial, Hunters should not be concerned with bacterial control, we should target odors. Big game cannot detect bacteria, but they can detect their odor.
Methods that target bacteria do effectively reduce bacteria and thereby reducing odor production. However, bacteria can be killed off, but they will return. Even doctors admit the use of hand sanitizer to eliminate bacteria is short lived and bacteria return often within minutes. Bacteria are smart, and they adapt quickly to what harms them. Methods to reduce bacteria do work, but to what degree is likely negligible. Don’t aim for the bacteria, target the odors they produce.
So let’s move on and target odor
Approaches that cover, mask, encapsulate, adsorb, filter, or trap odors do not chemically change or restructure odor compounds into odorless compounds. Eventually these odor compounds will return and once again be detectable. Oxidation, which changes the chemical structure of an odor compound, is a very effective way eliminating odor. Once an odor compound is oxidized it will not return as a detectable odor. Consider the oxidation of an odor compound, hydrogen sulfide with a peroxide compound: Hydrogen Sulfide(Odor) + Hydrogen Peroxide -> Elemental Sulfur(Odorless) + Water H2S + H2O2 → S0 + 2H2O
The oxidation process is similar to “airing out” your hunting gear, in doing so you are making oxygen available to complete oxidation reactions and eliminate odor.
Upwind® Copper Ion Technology
The core component of the Upwind system of odor elimination products is our copper ion technology. The mechanism of eliminating odor compounds is initiated by the dissociation of our copper ion complex that results in a controlled release of active copper ions. As active copper ions are released they work as a catalyst for the oxidation of odor compounds. This unique ability to dissociate and provide active copper ions to catalyze oxidation reactions with odor compounds is the key to odor elimination. The unique properties of our copper ion complex have been the basis for several patents in the United States and Worldwide. Unlike other oxidation technologies that are consumed in the oxidation reaction, our copper ion technology works as an oxidation catalyst to continuously eliminate odors. Put another way, our copper ion technology causes a continually repeating process of rapid chemical combination of oxygen molecules present in the air with odor causing molecules, changing them to odorless compounds.
What separates Upwind® and provides value for Hunters?
Upwind’s unique ability to target odors and accelerate oxidation reactions that eliminate odor compounds. In addition to faster more efficient oxidation, Upwind’s technology provides active copper ions to work as an oxidation catalyst long after initial application.
Unlike other metal complexes, Upwind’s copper ion complex can dissociate and free up large amounts of active free copper ions. Other metal complexes, metal additives, and metal enhanced fabrics, often provide little if any free metal ions due to their inability to dissociate and provide a free, reactive form of metal ion.
What do I get with Upwind® that I don’t get with others?
• Upwind goes beyond bacterial odors, we target all sources and a wide spectrum of odors
• Permanent odor elimination, odors do not return once the oxidation reaction is complete
• Fast acting, rapid oxidation, accelerated process
• Catalytic oxidation means continuous reaction long after initial application
• Odorless formula, Unscented, we are not a cover up, product has no odor of its own.
• Safe, biodegradable, Non-Toxic
• Unlike other metal complexes, Upwind’s copper ion complex is non-irritating to skin
• Unlike other metal formulas, fabrics and additives, Upwind’s copper ion technology provides copious amounts of free reactive copper ions