Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to Odorant: Odorant binding protein


Material added to odorless fuel gases to give them a distinctive odor for safety purposes; usually a sulfur- or mercaptan-containing compound. Also known as malodorant; stench; warning agent.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a substance added to a gas to impart a distinctive odor to it, mainly for safety purposes. Odorants should be physiologically harmless, nonaggressive with respect to metals and materials used in the construction of gas pipeline networks and devices, and inert to the components of the gas being odorized or to impurities in the gas, and they should not condense under operating conditions. They are usually sulfur-containing compounds; according to composition, a distinction is made between mercaptan odorants (Captan, Calodorant, methyl mercaptan, and ethyl mercaptan) and sulfide odorants (diethyl sulfide, dimethyl sulfide, dimethyl disulfide, and tetrahydrothiophene).

Industrial ethyl mercaptan (C2H5SH), which is characterized by a sharp, unpleasant odor sometimes resembling that of rotten cabbage, is used in the USSR for odorization of natural, shale, and liquefied hydrocarbon gases. As of 1974, work was under way on the introduction of Sul’fan, a high-mercaptan-content odorant composed of unpleasant-smelling organic sulfur compounds that are waste products of sulfate boiling of cellulose. In 1972 a mixture of natural mercaptans present in the gas condensate at the Orenburg gas-condensate deposit (USSR) was proposed for industrial use. Among the odorants used in the USA are petroleum odorants (Pentalarm, composed of ethyl mercaptan and n-amyl mercaptan; Captan, basically a mixture of butyl mercaptans; and Calodorant, containing sulfur almost entirely in the sulfide and disulfide forms), tetrahydrothiophene, and odorants consisting of mixtures of tert-butyl mercaptan or dimethyl sulfide.

Substances used for deodorizing are called deodorants; they include charcoal, chlorinated lime solution, potassium permanganate, and hydrogen peroxide. The use of mixtures of several odorants, which produce a stronger and more stable odor than the individual components, was planned as of 1974.


See References under .


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In our opinion, the selection of preferred odorant agents should be made with consideration of their societal commonality.
The Cp-Lip1 SAW device system refers to different odorant molecules bound to the Cp-Lip1 odorant-binding protein in a SAW device.
Fresh and greenish odorants such as (E)-2-hexanal and (Z)-3-hexanol are derived from lipid oxidation [5].
Each of the three side channels on one side could be individually connected by an electronically controlled solenoid switch to an odorant reservoir containing 0.05% tetramin solution, made up by dissolving 1 g of Tetramin fish food pellets in 100 ml of dechlorinated tap water and diluting appropriately.
Thus, the odorant must enable a person with a normal sense of smell to detect the presence of natural gas at a level of 1 %.
The suit alleges that EnergyUSA - which installed and serviced the 1,000-pound propane tank at the site - did not heed the manufacturer's warning printed on the inside of the tank, advising that the new tank be filled to capacity to prevent odorant fade.
US industrial sampling products and systems provider Sentry Equipment Corp said Monday it has acquired Texas-based Zeck Systems, which offers odorant injection instrumentation, in a move to boost its process products and systems portfolio.
Buck, 63, shared her Nobel Prize with Richard Axel for "discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system," according to the Nobelprize.org website.
Environment Agency representative Barry Berlin told the court that on August 5 2008, while clearing out an empty tanker, technical problems occurred which caused gas odorant to escape.
An odorant is added to propane to help alert customers to a propane gas leak, but this propane might not have the recommended level of odorant.