Portable Odor Elimination Technology

Request Number REQ8329020
Due Date December 23, 2016
Author Seh-Rin Sung
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Portable Odor Elimination Technology
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a leading brand of indoor air quality solutions, invites proposals for technology to enable a portable device to eliminate odors in a localized volume.


Life is full of unpleasant odors that emanate from garbage, diaper pails, sports equipment, restrooms, even leftover grass on the lawn mower in the garage.  The primary chemical substances that generate odors include amines, sulfides, and volatile fatty acids.  Specific molecules include trimethylamine, ammonia, indole, and butyric acid.  Many of these substances are volatile organic compounds (VOC’s)—they vaporize in concentrations according to ambient conditions of temperature, pressure, and concentration. 


Most of these odorous compounds have odor thresholds below 1 ppm, meaning that they are easy for most people to smell.  NineSigma’s client seeks to identify technology that would enable a portable odor elimination device.  The user could carry the device and activate it when they experience an odorous local environment, for example, when sitting near the restroom on an airplane.  Think noise cancellation but for the sense of smell.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Proof of concept

  • Demonstrate technology efficacy at laboratory scale
  • Provide cost estimate and path to commercial scale


Phase 2 – Engineering development

  • Optimize technology and incorporate into consumer products


Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2

Client will consider for advancement an approach that meets performance criteria with acceptable economics and pathway for implementation in commercial products.


NineSigma’s client will consider complete solutions, partial solutions, or enabling technologies.


Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

  • Eliminate odors in a localized volume of 1-2 m3 around the user
    • Deliver a clean fresh experience without using scents or odor masks
  • Eliminate volatile organic compounds (VOC’s)
    • Eliminate one or more of the following:  trimethylamine, ammonia, indole, and butyric acid
  • Preferably, begin odor elimination in as fast as 30 seconds, and make a significant reduction in odor in 60 seconds
  • Be activated at the push of a button
  • Ideally, be small enough to carry as a personal item
    • Have potential to scale up for use in larger spaces
  • Not emit harmful chemicals such as ozone
    • Have an acceptable environmental, health, and safety (EHS) profile


Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, be but are not limited to:

  • Hydroxy radical generators, catalysts
  • Adsorption or absorption
  • Non-thermal plasmas
  • Localized clean air generators


Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Cyclodextrins, activated carbon, and potassium permanganate
  • Odor masks such as fragrances
  • Ozone generators


Preferred Collaboration types
  • Joint Development
  • Contract Research
  • Technology Licensing
  • Technology Acquisition
  • Supply Agreement
  • To Be Negotiated
Items to be submitted

Your response should address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology and working principle
  • Availability of technical data including efficacy for what chemicals, odor neutralization rate, and EHS profile
  • Technical maturity of the approach (concept, reduced to practice, prototype, ready to commercialize, commercialized)
  • Pathway to commercial scale including timing, estimated budget, and capacity for manufacture
  • Estimated unit cost of technology
  • Position on intellectual property including patent references and freedom to practice
  • Desired relationship with sponsor
  • Team description and related experience


Appropriate responses to this Request

Responses from companies (small to large), consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome.  For example:


You represent a company or university that has demonstrated a proof of concept.

You represent a company or university that has reduced method to practice at lab scale.

You represent a company or university that has demonstrated a method ready for implementation at commercial scale.

You represent a university research department that has a bench-scale demonstration ready to adapt.

You represent a university research department that has an undeveloped pathway with a high probability of success.


Area of Interest
  • Consumer Products
Request Priority
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