My guest today is Kyle Knappenberger. He is the Director of Applications at Timilon Technology Acquisitions LLC, in Naples, Florida. Kyle joined Timilon in 2013 when they acquired the technology behind OdorKlenz®, a consumer brand of household odor removal products. We will be talking about harmful chemical classes around the home and ways to eliminate them—particularly how to remove perfume odors from laundry and washing machines. For over a decade, Kyle has been working on using safe metal oxide technology for odor control and toxic chemical neutralization applications. He has a Bachelors of Sciences degree in microbiology from Kansas State University, and co-holds six patents related to the mitigation of chemical and biological contamination. www.debralynndadd.com/debras-list/odorklenz
Here’s a video Odorklenz made to promote Karl’s interview on their social media. It made me smile 🙂
The MP3 of this interview has been lost, but will be placed here if we can find a copy.
TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
How to Remove Toxic Chemical Odors Around the House
Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Kyle Knappenberger
Date of Broadcast: July 22, 2014
DEBRA: Hi, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and this is Toxic Free Talk Radio, where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world and live toxic-free. I’m here in Clearwater, Florida. Today is July 22nd, 2014.
We’re going to have an interesting show today. Well, they’re always interesting shows and guests. I learn something every time someone comes on the show. And the guests that I choose, they really know what they’re talking about. They’re really in the midst of their industries. A lot of them have been doing this for a long time, and they’re providing really good solutions to the toxic chemicals we’re exposed to on a daily basis.
My guest today is Kyle Knappenberger. He’s the director of applications for Timilon Technology Acquisitions and you may have already heard of the brand name of the product we’re going to talk about, which is OdorKlenz. It’s a consumer-brand of household odor-remover products. They work really well.
I’ll just give a little background and say that a lot of people, when there’s an odor in your home, you might reach for an air freshener. But what an air freshener does is one of two things. It covers up the odor with a toxic fragrance. And all perfume and fragrances that are in some products, they’re all made from a whole lot of toxic chemicals.
The other thing that air fresheners can do is that they can deaden your nerves in your nose so that you don’t smell the odor. Those are the two things that air fresheners do. What odor removers do is actually remove the odor.
What we’re going to talk about today is the technology about removing different kinds of odors around the home. And we’ll find out exactly how to do this. One of the things I’m most interested in is removing perfume from laundry like buy something from a thrift store and it’s got perfume on it or like I had a situation where I bought a washing machine and it was scented with a detergent scent, and I had to get the detergent scent out. There might be all kinds of reasons for why you want to get perfume out of something and that’s going to be one of the things we’ll talk about. So stay tuned to the whole show.
I’d like to welcome my guest today, Kyle Knappenberger.
KYLE KNAPPENBERGER: Hi Debra. It’s a pleasure to be on your show today.
DEBRA: Thank you. Thanks for being with me. How did you get interested in reducing odors?
KYLE KNAPPENBERGER: It was actually a bit of a luck. I had gotten introduced to a company many years ago when I was in school and had the opportunity to join that company right out of school. The company primarily focused on destructive absorption technologies and furthering the use of metal oxides for the destruction of really harmful and toxic types of chemicals.
Through the evolution of working for that company for many years, we were really focused on neutralizing some of the really deadly chemicals out there, things like chemical warfare agents or warfighters and military-type of applications.
And about nine or ten years ago, as about everyone should remember, Hurricane Katrina hit down in New Orleans, Louisiana. We had our toxic chemical neutralizer stuff, our military-grade product, and we had a team down there to help with some of the clean-up and mitigation and work with some of the responders.
What we found out was that people should have been more concerned with toxic chemicals from that type of event, but what stuck in people’s minds more than anything was the impact of the odors from this particular event. They were asking us, “Can your chemical neutralizer, your warfare grade neutralizer be effective against a whole host of odor our folks were encountering in their homes?” And of course, this was from a very specific disaster so the odors, as you can imagine, were quite significant and impactful.
Our products worked beautifully for that, which really led that company to start expanding beyond just military-grade chemicals to more common occurrence chemicals because as we all know, we’re exposed to a variety of toxic chemicals on a daily basis. These things can be in our homes.
During your introduction, you mentioned quite a few of them, things like the air fresheners. Frankly, they release quite a few volatile elements to our environment and we’re doing this to ourselves. We’re releasing potentially dangerous chemicals into our environment on a daily basis.
The technology that has been developed over a number of years includes natural earth mineral technology that Timilon has acquired. That’s extremely effective and efficient at neutralizing and wanting to break down a lot of chemicals.
So that’s the progression. I got to join a company after researching water purification techniques in school, went into deadly and toxic chemicals in chemical worker agents and then by extension, more common, toxic chemicals that we’re being exposed to on a daily basis.
DEBRA: We’re going to talk about the technology later, but I just want to ask right now, does this technology, if it was just sitting in a room, would it absorb toxic chemicals like an air filter does? Would someone use it instead of an air filter?
KYLE KNAPPENBERGER: The technology does absorb if you just have these metal oxide granules and powders sitting on a dish. Yes, they’re going to be absorbing those chemicals right out of the air. If you place them into a system (which is what our company does, the commercialization of this technology) and put them into things like air cartridges, air filters, or other mechanisms, or different types of approaches or delivery system, you can much more actively bring the toxic chemicals or the noxious chemicals to the material, which will then increase the removal and the elimination efficiency of those chemicals.
DEBRA: And was there a specific reason for why Timilon acquired this technology?
KYLE KNAPPENBERGER: Timilon is a technology-acquisition company that likes to commercialize a broader array of technology. They have seen and are aware of this technology and when it became available for purchase and acquisition, they moved on doing that.
And Timilon has taken that commercialization of what I would call again, our destruction absorption technologies and they really want to push it into much broader markets for the mitigation of toxic and noxious chemicals, which include odors.
And we really are, here at Timilon, focused on the markets that we would call the personal air quality and surface decontamination with key emphasis on what we would call critical environments where people, children, elderly, the chemically-sensitive people are living their lives. We really want to take those environments and make them much more suited for living by reducing the chemicals and pollutants that are in those environments, so that people aren’t being exposed to them.
DEBRA: I definitely see the change. I first became aware of OdorKlenz a few years ago and used the product at that time. But when I go to your website now, I see many more products than existed then. We’ll talk about those later in the show.
We actually need to go to break, but I think that it’s interesting to me that you started with using this in chemical warfare, which are some pretty toxic chemicals. And now you’re bringing that in the home to handle the toxic chemicals that are in the home. We’ll talk about that when we get back from the break.
My guest today is Kyle Knappenberger. He’s from Timilon Technology Acquisitions and they make OdorKlenz, household odor removal products. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and you’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Kyle Knappenberger. He’s from Timilon Technology Acquisitions and they make OdorKlenz. That’s a consumer brand of household odor removal products. This is something you can use instead of an air freshener, which has toxic chemicals in it. You use this product to remove the toxic chemicals from your home.
So Kyle, tell us about some of the toxic chemicals that people might have in their homes that your product would be good to remove?
KYLE KNAPPENBERGER: It really encompasses quite a few different classes of chemicals, liquid and vapor chemicals. Just think about all the things around your home. You’ve got batteries, which contain sulfuric acid. You’ve got household cleaning chemicals like bleach, which is a sodium hypochlorite solution. You have a variety of pesticide and insecticide which are organophosphates.
This is a bit of a sidenote, but the pesticides and insecticides that you use are extremely comparable in chemical structure to chemical worker agents and nerve agents. And in fact, when we do a lot of our testing against some of our military-grade products or warfare-grade products for warfighter products, we use pesticides and insecticides because they are very similar.
And when you think about what the job a pesticide or insecticide does, it kills things. And folks have these things in their garages, basements, and they’re applying these things in their homes! They’re very dangerous things to have around and they contribute to poor air quality.
And then you have your glass cleaners, which have ammonia and alcohol. Toilet bowl cleaners have a lot of harsh chemicals in them, including acids and phenyls. And the air fresheners that you mentioned, they contribute to a lot of VOCs in the home such as formaldehyde and one particular chemical and all the different repellants that are used in those again (some alcohol and organic compound). And then all the things you find in your garage, you’ve got oils, fuels. And where you live, you might have pool chemicals.
Then there are things that some people don’t even think about. The actual building materials in your home contribute to poor air quality. The laminate flooring or carpet contains a lot of adhesive that can release VOCs to your air. Pressed wood and particle board cabinets, even furniture that you buy and assemble, or even furniture that’s been finished and lacquered and maybe it hasn’t fully dried or cured. It can be a big emitter of a whole host of VOCs and essentially carcinogenic chemicals. They’re everywhere!
And then the first thing that most people do when they try to cover up these types of chemicals is they go and grab an air freshener, which is a masking agent in many cases. That’s just adding additional chemicals to the environment. And we at Timilon have always felt that if you’re wanting to remove odors and chemical pollutants from your daily environment, let’s not add in additional chemical pollutants and odors into your environment.
DEBRA: That would be the smart thing.
KYLE KNAPPENBERGER: Exactly. You would be surprised how many folks and industries are using chemical processes to eliminate odors. They’re eliminating odors by adding odors. And it just seems very counterproductive.
DEBRA: You told me some things over the phone before our interview about the chemicals that are used to clean up disasters. I know that some people do have disasters like flooding and fire in their home. How can your products be used for that? And what are the toxic chemicals that they use to clean up disasters?
KYLE KNAPPENBERGER: I’m going to simplify it down to just a couple of categories of types of disasters. You’ve got your fire and water disasters. That’s a bit of an oversimplification. But when you think about what happens to a home after a fire or a surge backup, you had an event and things have burned or things have been released. All the different compounds in your home are releasing toxic chemicals.
There are disaster restoration crews that can come out sometimes, depending upon the severity of the job, maybe it’s the home owner who’s a do-it-yourself type, but a lot of the chemicals that are utilized after an event like that, they’ll bring in crews and they’ll start removing items from the home, which is good. You want to get the source out. But then they’ll bring in chemicals or generators like ozone machines or free radical hydroxyl machines or even thermal fog, which is basically a chemical that’s heated up or micronized and released out into the environment.
Those processes puts chemical out into the environment to react with the other chemicals that are present in that environment and they may or may not do that. If they do it, that might be a step in the right direction. But those chemical byproducts are still present in that home.
You may have changed what it smells like and you may or may not have reduced any environmental hazards or indoor air quality problems with that. And that’s how this technology (I mentioned Hurricane Katrina in the last segment), that’s really where we started to see that our technology is really good at, mitigating airborne and source chemicals.
And that’s where our process, for example, [inaudible 00:20:24] we’ve taken our materials and we’ve been able to put them into air cartridges that go into portable air units or they can go into a home’s HVAC system so that you can cycle the air, exchange that air, pass it through our materials and let our materials react with it in a safe way to break down those chemicals to actually remove them from the environment.
As opposed to releasing ozone into the environment and hoping that it reacts with the chemical and has that reaction go cleanly, we want to be able to do that same thing, but do it in a confined environment and remove those chemicals in your home, but not have those chemical reactions occur out in the environment. And when they do have source treatment, we can apply our products directly to the sources, treat and neutralize the sources in conjunction with the air process and take care of the whole problem.
DEBRA: Good. We’re going to hear more about how this technology works when we come back from the break. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Kyle Knappenberger. He’s from Timilon Technology Acquisitions who makes OdorKlenz, which is the product that we’re talking about right now. I just found a way I can use this in my house and I’m going to tell you when we come back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Kyle Knappenberger. The company he works for makes a product called OdorKlenz that we’ve been talking about thax`t is a household odor removal product, not an air freshener. It removes the odor and doesn’t just put more toxic chemicals in the air. We’re going to learn more about how the technology works now.
But before the break, I said that I thought of a way to use this product in my home because I don’t have toxic chemicals to remove in my home. I’ve removed them all from the source. But I’m thinking of many ways — not many people live in a toxic-free home as I do, but even in my own home, I was really delighted to see that you have these in HVAC filters.
I know that I don’t have any control over what’s going on with the outside air and sometimes, somebody will, even though I tell people no perfumes, sometimes I’ll have a party and somebody will come in with cigarette smoke residue in their clothing or perfume or detergent. Most likely, it’s detergent scent from washing our clothes. I was saying, “no perfume,” but people don’t understand that there is scent in their detergent.
Sometimes these odors, these chemicals will inadvertently get into my house. It would be so nice to just turn on the HVAC and clean out the air in my whole house. Sometimes they’ll come do lawn work next door or something. I can see that this will be something that if everybody just had one of these filters at their homes, they can just turn on their HVAC and what would happen?
KYLE KNAPPENBERGER: Well, that’s exactly right. Having this technology into a configuration such as an HVAC filter or a cartridge as a standalone device really does help minimize the pollutants that are in your indoor air.
Some of the things that are kind of interesting as homes get built better supposedly more efficiently, we’re essentially tightening up our home, which are trapping and not letting those chemicals out that are being brought in by people into your home. They’re coming in, but not getting out like they used to.
More efficient air filtration is important. Most people’s air filters primarily do only one thing, which is to remove particulates. They get micron or submicron particles, the things that are toxic chemicals or the noxious odors that we can smell or in some cases we can’t smell. Those things go through your traditional air filters. Having a technology like our natural earth mineral technology is much more efficient and brings capabilities to those types of processes that can’t do that.
DEBRA: How does that work? Is it adsorbing? First, why don’t you tell us what the word ‘adsorbing’ meaning because it’s not ‘absorbing’. Tell us what that means first. I want to ask you ‘adsorbing’ or is the material actually changing, breaking down the chemicals?
KYLE KNAPPENBERGER: Well, we do like to use the phrase to describe our technology as destructive adsorption. When our technology comes into contact with it, if you were to say something just ‘absorbs it’, you would essentially be implying that a chemical is just being stored on that material maybe within its pores. That’s what happens with a lot of carbon products or just general absorbents. They can hold onto a material or they’re storing it, but they can release it just as easily.
Now, the process that we call destructive adsorption is a surface phenomenon that our materials have that is taking advantage of the high surface area of our material.
There is a chemical reaction or a chemical process going on because. This is going to be a little bit simplified here, but the different atoms and molecules, they want to have neighbors. They want to be paired up with other chemicals.
But the atoms that are on the surface of things or on the corners or edges, they don’t have as many neighbors. The atoms at the middle of the molecule have friends all around them – left, right, back, up, down. Well, if you can increase the surface area to have more corners and edges, then that molecule (like in the case of our metal oxide), it’s going to have more active sites that can reach out and pair up and grab onto a toxic chemical or a noxious odor, or really whatever type of chemical is out there, whether good or bad.
And that’s what makes our technology really different. We’re combining absorption technology with high surface area materials, really giving it the best of both worlds, so that we can seek out, grab things, react with it, break them down or neutralize it and retain them on the surface of our material. In effect, you can truly then eliminate it.
DEBRA: Wow! So you’re not just collecting the chemicals. You’re actually breaking them down so that they’re not— we’re kind of getting into the function of chemistry. I’ll admit, I never actually took chemistry in school. I think there are probably other people who are listening who don’t quite understand how chemical reactions happen. But I’ve read lots of chemistry books after I started trying to learn about toxic chemicals.
So just to explain again, really briefly how that chemical reaction is taking place, that chemicals are these — well, you tell them because you’ll say it better.
KYLE KNAPPENBERGER: Well, there are earth minerals and metal oxides that we use that are very safe materials, but they are wanting to come into contact with other chemicals. They are wanting to chemically bind with them, react with them, and tear them apart on the surface. This is a very safe process.
Now, the analogy that I like to utilize is imagine if we had spilled a toxic chemical on the floor. It was a liquid and we wanted to soak it up. We’d want to use a material that is ideally safe, but then we’d want to use something that’s efficient in doing so.
I’ll take the example of popcorn and popcorn kernel. Well, if we had a popcorn kernel…
DEBRA: I’m going to interrupt you. We need to go on break. Let’s finish the story when we get back. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Kyle Knappenberger and we’re talking about OdorKlenz, a consumer brand of household odor removal products. When we come back, we’re going to talk about how all this technology that we’ve just been talking about gets applied in consumer products that you can use in your home to remove toxic chemicals. We’ll be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and my guest today is Kyle Knappenberger. We’re talking about OdorKlenz, a brand of household odor removal products. This is such an unusual product that I’m unaccustomed to saying “household odor removal product.” So, go on with what you were saying before the break, Kyle.
KYLE KNAPPENBERGER: Oh, thank you. I was giving the analogy of if you are wanting to soak up or eliminate a toxic chemical – it’s a bit of a simplification here, but our technology is really in using safe materials.
In the analogy, you have two different, but fundamentally the same things. In one bucket, we have unpopped popcorn and in the other, popped popcorn. If you’re going to soak up a toxic spill, you’re going to want to use something that has more surface area, more internal pores and more active sites. In that case, the popped piece of popcorn. Again, fundamentally, they’re the same thing, chemically they’re the same thing, but one is much more efficient. That’s what we’ve done with our metal oxide technology.
We’ve been able to adapt this technology. Whether it’s metal oxides or things that are commonly found in the ground, but we’ve been able to make them much more efficient at neutralizing a variety of chemicals and odors. And we’ve been able to take this technology (again, which is green and non-toxic) and apply it into a variety of different forms, whether that’s powders, granules, air cartridges or liquid because as you know, when we’re trying to address toxic chemicals around the home or in our laundry or in our daily lives, you have to optimize the way that you come into contact with those things.
If you have a spot on the carpet that’s may be from a pet or a loved one who spilled something and you want to neutralize it, well, you need to make sure that you treat that spot so that you can fully react with, neutralize, and then remove it from that spot. So we’ve been able to adapt our powders into those varieties of different forms to address a wide variety of different applications.
One of the things that when we’re talking at Timilon about when addressing indoor air quality, we have a lot of products that are very good at solving specific problems, whether that’s a pet that got skunked or your clothes has been in an environment where they’ve been contaminated with a variety of odors or things. But we also like to think of this as a system process.
If you really want to address indoor air quality, utilizing these things in conjunction with each other means we’re maintaining a much more comfortable and improved environment in which we’re living in. That’s the approach we like to take, address different varieties of toxic and odor problems.
DEBRA: Tell us what the different types of product that you have, the different ways that you have applied this technology.
KYLE KNAPPENBERGER: Oh, absolutely! Some of the key ones that were originally developed as I’ve mentioned out of the Hurricane Katrina were surface products and air products. We have products like our OdorKlenz S, which can be applied directly to sources whether that’s on a carpet, maybe it’s on a cushion or a chair or something like that where you directly apply our material in a liquid form to that surface, work it into the surface and then you can remove it through either extraction from household cleaning tools or you can let the product dry and then vacuum up any residue that you may have.
We then also have [something] for more of your spill types of applications. We’ve got our OdorKlenz Absorbent product, which is a granular material. If you were out in the garage and you maybe spill over your weed killer or lawn chemical products, you can absorb that up, neutralize that odor and make the situation a lot safer.
We have a new line of products, which is a sport line of product, which as we know, there are a lot of folks that are pretty active in a variety of different events and sports, whether that’s athletic runners and a wide variety of things. You’re creating a lot of odors with those things.
Sometimes you just can’t treat them right away. They often go right into your gear or garment bags. We have a variety of products that can be directly applied to those garments or gears to neutralize odors right after you’ve used them or in the case of our OdorKlenze Laundry Additive, which is by far, one of our most popular products. As we’re just walking around in our day to day lives, whether that’s in our homes or at our jobs, we’re being exposed to a wide variety of chemicals and odors. You want to get those odors or chemicals out of your clothes so that you can start the day clean and fresh.
And kind of an interesting side note, when we initially launched the OdorKlenz Laundry Additive, we have a subgroup of customers that really found us. These are from the chemically-sensitive customers that were not even a market that we were particularly looking at. They were calling us and saying that, “Your product works really good at neutralizing the chemicals and odors in detergent.”
I have a very specific customer who gave me the example that they never travel away from their home for more than a few days because they were afraid of using other people’s washing machines or dryers or even laundromat dryers. They themselves may have tried to minimize what they’re exposed to on a day to day basis, but they don’t know who used that dryer or washer right before them and what their detergents consisted of. I had a customer that said, “This is fantastic! I can now go on a cruise and not be afraid of what the person that used the washer before me may have been exposed to.” That day to day thing, to be able to help someone like that, is actually very rewarding.
DEBRA: I can understand that. But while this is really important to people who are sensitive to some perfumes and scents (these perfumes and scents are toxic to anybody), whether or not you’re reacting to them, they’re toxic. And everybody who’s using laundry in any kind of public place should be using this product because you really don’t know what was in the washer before you put your clothes in there.
KYLE KNAPPENBERGER: Exactly! And again, it’s not just the things, like you said, that people are exposed to, but the chemicals in a lot of laundry detergents themselves – the bleaching agent, whether it’s aldehyde or amine compounds, quat compounds, chlorine, or ethylacetate (which is a fabric softener). A lot of people are very irritated by these things. In higher dosages, they can be toxic. Everybody is being exposed to those sorts of things and having a way to minimize your exposure to it is a wise decision.
DEBRA: I am so pleased that your company is making all these new applications in this because this product is really needed. I’m always talking about removing toxic chemicals at the sources, but I’m really in communication with my readers and my listeners and I know that there are a lot of people who are being exposed to toxic chemicals, but they can’t do anything about it. They can’t remove their carpet because they’re in an apartment and they don’t own it.
There are a lot of people living in apartments, so they can’t do anything about the toxic chemicals that are being emitted from the formaldehyde coming out of the particle board cabinets and things like that. And as much as they would like to, they can’t change their environment. This just opens the door to a whole lot of people being able to reduce their exposure in ways that wasn’t available before.
KYLE KNAPPENBERGER: Absolutely! Simple things like standalone air scrubbers with OdorKlenz cartridge or an HVAC filter that has our materials impregnated into it and combining that with things like treating your carpet with granular products before you vacuum it up or washing your laundry in a good detergent with the OdorKlenz Laundry Additive, these are all things that can contribute to a system-approach to minimizing odors and indoor pollutants and making your environment that you live in on a daily basis much more comfortable for yourself.
DEBRA: Thank you so much for being on the show. I told you it’ll come by really fast.
KYLE KNAPPENBERGER: Time flies when you’re having fun.
DEBRA: It does. So I want to give your website, it’s OdorKlenz.com, so people can go to your website and order online. I see on your website saying it’s free shipping for $50 or more. And if you order before Labor Day, which is some weeks from now, it’s 15% off your entire purchase. If you use the coupon code “summersale”. So this is a good time to try this out.
You’ve been listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. Thank you so much. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. Be well.