2:08 am - Wednesday October 18, 2017

Bill Gates Develops A Fragrance That Blocks Toilet Odor

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Bill Gates Develops A Fragrance That Blocks Toilet Odor

So creative people just don’t stop to amaze the world right? The most intriguing thing about creative people is that they find ideas in the most odd places. Can you imagine trying to completely stop shit from smelling?

Most often than not, you will reject their ideas over and over again should they flash through your mind. However, they spot opportunities in almost every flash and immediately go to work trying to make it a reality.

That’s what has brought about the many unbelievable inventions the world enjoys.

Recently on GatesNotes, Microsoft Founder/CEO Bill Gates wrote about his next project of completing eradicating bad odor from toilets, especially pit toilets.

According to him, he recently traveled to Switzerland to take a giant whiff of pit latrine odor. He said what he inhaled was a strong kick to the nostrils, a potent combination of sewage stench, barnyard sweat and bitter ammonia topped off with vomit. The stench was foul and what did it make him do? He wince.

But guess how he interpreted all of this? watch the video.


He said fortunately, he also got to smell something fresh and pleasing during his trip. To him, that was the first sniff of a future of odor-free toilets and better sanitation for all.

According to the billionaire, he caught the revelation during a tour of a family owned fragrance and flavor company named Firmenich in Geneva. The company is known for crafting some of the world’s best known fragrance and enhancing the flavors of beverages and foods.

But it is also one of their foundation’s newest partners in their effort to improve sanitation in the world’s poorest countries.

From his research about the project, he said statistics showed that over 1 billion people have no access to toilets so they defecate in the open. Three billion more have toilets but their waste is dumped untreated seeping into water and food supplies. About 800,000 children under age 5 die each year from diarrhea, pneumonia, and other common infections caused by unsafe water and sanitation. Beyond the tremendous human suffering, it’s a problem that slows economic development.

In India alone, poor sanitation costs nearly $55 billion each year—more than 6 percent of GDP.

I wonder what the statistics are for Nigeria.

So how can a perfume company help considering that smells matter?

While millions of open toilets are been built around the world to help take care of the open defecation problem, many of these toilets, especially the pit latrines do not get used. This is because of the bad smell associated with them, making people just continue to help themselves off in the open where the air is fresher.

This is a worrying trend that threatens to undermine the progress that is been achieved in global sanitation. Bill Gates said.

A few years ago, our foundation organized a “smell summit” to discuss ways to address this problem. Representatives from Firmenich were among the attendees and they thought they might be able to help.

“With more than a century of experience creating perfumes and flavors, Firmenich has developed sophisticated approaches to analyzing odors and breaking them down to their chemical components. They started their work with the foundation’s sanitation team by asking a basic question: why do toilets smell so bad?”

From their research, they discovered that toilets actually consist of more than 200 chemical components arising from feces and urine that change over time and this vary depending on the health and diet of the people. The researchers wanted to know which components were responsible for the most terrible smell.

A process of isolation of chemicals produced the culprits (indole, p-cresol, dimethyl trisulfide, and butyric acid) so they began a process of recreating this odor using synthetic compounds. Simply put, they made a perfume that smelled exactly like shit and stale urine. A pooped perfume.

To make sure they got the odor right, they sampled out and asked people in the affected countries (Switzerland, India and Africa) to affirm which fragrance most closely mimicked a stinky pit toilet.

And what was the result of their efforts? The fragrance I breathed in during my visit. I put my nose up to a glass sniffing tube in Firmenich’s research facility and I was hit by a blast of foul-smelling odors. As I described (perhaps too vividly) above, it smelled as bad as the worst toilets I’ve ever visited.

With this in hand, they could experiment with various other fragrances, exploring how to effectively mask the offensive odors.

In the long history of man battling bad or offensive odors be it sweaty armpit or general body odor, we have always used a one way approach; using pleasant perfumes to cover up bad odors we want to hide- the equivalent of sweeping dirt under a rug.

Firmenich wanted to try a different, more innovative approach to this age-old challenge. They wanted to attack the problem on a molecular level at the connection between our noses and our brains, from its very root.

Our noses have 350 olfactory receptors, each one awakening us to new sensations. Just a handful of them allow us to smell repulsive odors. Firmenich researchers used this knowledge to develop fragrances that block certain receptors in our noses, making us unable to register certain malodors

The approach is similar to noise-canceling headphones which many people use to block out jet engine noise on flights. This wave cancels unpleasant sounds and allows you to enjoy peace and quiet. Likewise, the ingredients in the fragrances developed by Firmenich inhibit the activation of the olfactory receptors sensitive to malodors. By blocking the receptors, our brains do not perceive the bad smells.

According to him, after all was done, he had an opportunity to experience the odor blocking fragrance in action. ” I was invited to push my nose into a glass sniffing tube and breathe in a mixture of the poop perfume I had just experienced and one of the new odor-blocking fragrances. It smelled pretty good. There was no evidence of repulsive odor I had experienced earlier. Instead of stinky sewage, sweat, and ripe cheese, I sniffed a pleasant floral scent” says Bill Gates.

The question now is whether this technology is good enough to make a difference in communities with poor sanitation. A pilot project across the affected countries has already been launched to know for sure. They are also trying to determine whether its better to distribute the fragrance as spray, powder or something else.

For the billionaire, It had been a busy day in Geneva for his nose and his 350 olfactory receptors.

But one scent continues to linger. It’s the smell of success—the kind that happens when people put their talents together to make the world a better place.

Do you agree?

Your comments are welcome.


Source;  www.gatesnotes.com, www.mirror.co.uk, www.linkedin.com, www.smartfonefreaks.com



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this is an awesome breakthrough