Gasodor® S-Free 2009 media coverage
Environmentally friendly natural gas odorant
(…) “We were convinced of the ecological and technical advantages of Gasodor® S-Free from the very beginning,” says Markus Königshofen, divisional head of network services for Energieversorgung Hildesheim GmbH & Co. KG (EVI), the energy supply company for Hildesheim, Germany. “After six years of testing under actual working conditions, we now see that the decision we made was a good one.”
EVI did pioneering work in 2003: the company was the first municipal energy service provider in Germany to stop using sulfur-containing odorants and switch over to environmentally friendly Gasodor® S-Free.
By using Gasodor® S-Free, EVI hoped to do its part to protect the environment while providing a high level of safety. Financial benefits also made the product attractive: “Over the long haul, Gasodor® S-Free is more economical than traditional odorants, because we don’t have to use as much,” Königshofen explains. (…)
ddp newswire services, June 26, 2009
New odor warns of gas leaks: natural gas to go sulfur-free
(…) It only made sense that researchers from Symrise, a flavorings and fragrance manufacturer in Holzminden, Germany, would put their heads together with scientists from the Engler-Bunte Institute in Karlsruhe to develop a sulfur-free odorant on the initiative of the German natural gas industry. “We considered several hundred potential substances,” explains Jörg Müller, manager of the natural gas odorization project.
The new smell for gas lines must serve as a warning, i.e., people must be able to smell it immediately and it must be unpleasant without being toxic. It should disperse readily in natural gas and must be easy to dispense. It should be cheap and effective in small quantities. “Not too many chemicals meet all of those criteria,” Müller concludes. The experts ultimately selected a blend of three substances: two acrylates and one pyrazine. The new warning odor was assessed by 113 subjects in a study conducted at the Engler-Bunte Institute. Participants sat in an enclosed area while the new odorant mixture and various other odors (cooking smells, fish, jasmine and the traditional odor of natural gas) were fed into the room one after another. After each test, participants filled out a questionnaire on which they reported their associations with the odor. The majority of test subjects agreed that the smell of the unknown mixture was strange, irritating and chemical. The results did not reveal any risk of mistaking the odorant for everyday smells such as flowers or cooking odors. Eighty percent of those participating in the study reported that the unknown odor reminded them of gas more than anything else.
(…) Müller emphasized, however, that “the product does not smell like a sulfur-containing odorant, of course, because it does not contain any sulfur.” What this means, he said, is that consumers have to familiarize themselves with the smell of “Gasodor® S-free” before it goes into use.
The Osnabrücker Zeitung, June 27, 2009The odor of gas is different in Münster(…) Up until now, every time we turned on the gas, sulfur-containing chemicals warned us by launching an unpleasant assault on our noses.More and more gas companies, however, are switching over to low-sulfur or to sulfur-free odorants. One of the reasons for this is that the amount of sulfur that an odorant may contain was lowered earlier this year, because sulfur compounds are converted to sulfur dioxide when burned – a factor that contributes to forest decline. (…)Researchers from Symrise, a fragrance producer in Holzminden, and scientists in Karlsruhe have developed a sulfur-free natural gas odorant. The new odorant also has to serve as a warning, i.e., people must be able to smell it immediately and it must be unpleasant without being toxic. It should be cheap and effective in small quantities. The experts ultimately selected a blend of three substances: two acrylates and one pyrazine.When smelled by members of a test panel, the majority agreed that the odor was irritating and smelled like chemicals. Eighty percent of those participating in the study reported that the unknown odor reminded them of gas more than anything else. (…)
The Süddeutsche Zeitung, July 4, 2009
Nauseating smell serves as a warning
The flame on the stove is out, but it still smells really strange. If you live in Kiel and forget to turn the gas off all the way, you will be greeted by a penetrating odor. For the past six months, natural gas there no longer smells like rotten eggs the way it does, for example, in Munich. The new smell is unpleasant and is clearly different from household odors.
(…) Earlier this year, the EU lowered the limit on the amount of sulfur that can be used in natural gas, since burning the sulfur-containing odorant converts it to sulfur dioxide – a compound that poses a health hazard. “It would make a lot of sense to introduce the sulfur-free additive throughout Germany,” explains Rainer Reimert of the Engler-Bunte Institute in Karlsruhe; scientists at the Institute developed the odorant in collaboration with researchers from Symrise, a flavorings and fragrance manufacturer in Holzminden.
Reducing the sulfur content of natural gas would also make sense for technical reasons: many cars now use natural gas as fuel for a traditional combustion engine. If the gas contains large amounts of sulfur, it will damage the engine. If fitted with auxiliary equipment, fuel cells could be used to produce electricity from natural gas for use in household applications or in cars – sulfur, however, would harm the engine. For this reason, manufacturers currently use a filter to remove the odorant from the gas.