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Molecular sieves for personal care products.

A range of personal care and household applications are the targets of two unique high performance products from UOP's Molecular Sieve Group that "make even the smelliest smells disappear into thin air." The revolutionary ABSCENTS deodorizing molecular sieve powder is being used by UOP customers for application with baby and adult diapers, feminine hygiene products, deodorants and foot and body powders.

A similar product, which goes under the SMELLRITE tradename, is being marketed to the household and pet care products markets.

Both ABSCENTS And SMELLRITE are trademarks of UOP, a 50/50 joint venture between Union Carbide and Allied Signals Inc. UOP is licensing the molecular sieve technology to personal care product manufacturers, who then incorporate it into their end products. UOP has expanded its molecular sieve production facilities at its Mobile, Alabama plant.

What Are Molecular Sieves?

The synthetic molecular sieve adsorbents were invented more than 30 years ago by the company that is now known as Molsiv Adsorbents, which is headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois; research on both ABSCENTS and SMELLRITE is conducted in UOP facilities in Tarrytown, New York.

Molecular sieve adsorbents, which have already found broad commercial applications ad desiccants, are inorganic, crystalline materials, usually aluminosilicate compositions, in which a solid framework forms a three dimensional network of internal cavities of a honeycomb-like nature.

These cavities can account for up to 50% of the total crystal volume and result in a large internal surface area. For example, a single tablespoon of a molecular sieve can have a surface area equal to that of an entire football field.

Typically, the internal cavities are fully connected by pore openings of uniform, molecular size. Because of these passageways between cavities, the entire internal surface area of the molecular sieve is available for adsorption.

Most molecular sieves are highly hydrophilic. While this property is the basis of all desiccant applications for molecular sieves, it has precluded their use as odor removers in personal care applications. When they are exposed to even extremely small amounts of water vapor they rapidly fill with water. This made them ineffective in adsorbing other molecular species, such as those responsible for odors.

The ABSCENTS Improvements

The revolutionary ABSCENTS deodorizing powder is a new, high performance molecular sieve formulated by UOP to offer a unique approach to odor control in personal care applications. Through sophisticated chemical and structural changes, the internal surfaces of ABSCENTS deodorizing powder have been made organophilic (or hydrophobic). As a result, they exhibit a strong selectivity for odor causing compounds.

To put it simply, ABSCENTS attracts odors and traps them tightly within its porous structure, effectively removing odors from their surroundings instead of simply masking them with fragrance. The molecules that are literally captured within the molecular sieve are permanently held inside. ABSCENTS also maintains its odor removal capability in high humidity or in the presence of liquid water, conditions commonly encountered in personal care applications.

ABSCENTS is a versatile, broadly effective odor remover, not limited to a narrow range of odor types. In contrast to some odor neutralizers that rely on chemical reactions to break down odor, ABSCENTS simply eliminates them.

ABSCENTS may be formulated into dry powders or aqueous products or readily incorporated into non-woven matrices for effective control in personal care products and related goods, including feminine protection products, baby diapers, adult incontinence products, body or foot powders, deodorants, nonwoven wipes and ostomy products.
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Title Annotation:10th Annual Show in Print of the International Nonwovens Industry; UOP's ABSCENTS and SMELLRITE molecular sieve powders
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:May 1, 1992
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Next Article:Resin technology for nonwovens applications.

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