What happens if two epoch-making crises such as a pandemic and a climate crisis occur at the same time?
One outcome is certainly anxiety, fear and chaos.
But it's not the only result.
In fact, it is often the moments of greatest adversity that give rise to the most brilliant ideas. When the problem inspires a new idea in someone, new solutions to old problems emerge; research is prioritised and innovation is fostered.
This is what happened in recent years.
The spread of an unknown and potentially lethal virus led to a growing public demand for deeper cleaning that removes not only dirt, but also viruses and bacteria.
But at the same time, it wasn’t possible to implement counter-pandemic solutions that didn’t take into account ongoing environmental issues. Not least because many experts though there might be a link between the two crises.
In fact, it became increasingly clear to us from our own observation that the mass use of chemical agents can be harmful to the environment and can actually counteract the original intended purpose. In fact during the pandemic, the health sector again explained that when viruses and bacteria spread, one of the biggest problems is their growing resistance to cleaning and disinfection solutions (and to medicines). We use so many products so often that micro-organisms become resistant and increasingly difficult to eliminate over time.
This is why companies and specialists have been figuring out how to resolve a crisis situation – such as the spread of a dangerous virus – without worsening the environmental crisis. One of the solutions they have come with is ozone cleaning. There's nothing new about the use of ozone in cleaning. But what is new its application on a larger scale and the quest to optimise its use.
This is the theme we propose in this in-depth study: the sanitisation of surfaces using ozone rather than chemicals in order to reduce environmental impact.
How does ozone cleaning work?
Ozone is a chemical compound consisting of three oxygen atoms (O3). It can disinfect and deodorise environments and is effective in combating bacteria, viruses, moulds and other contaminants.
Ozone cleaning works by creating a high concentration of ozone in the room to be cleaned, using a generator that converts the oxygen in the air into ozone.
The ozone thus created spreads around the room and reacts with the contaminants.
Once the cleaning process is complete, the ozone is converted back into oxygen and the room is left clean, disinfected and free of harmful emissions.
Ozone cleaning is a quick, effective method for cleaning many kinds of surfaces and environments, and can be used for cleaning floors, homes, public buildings, vehicles and so on.
Does ozone really sanitise?
Yes, ozone is an effective sanitising agent. Its high chemical reactivity makes it a powerful oxidising agent, capable of destroying bacteria, viruses, moulds and other contaminants.
Sanitising with ozone is nothing new; many industries have been doing it for decades.
Does ozone cleaning have any harmful side-effects?
It’s important to bear in mind that ozone is an unstable and reactive compound, so it must be used carefully and with effective tools to prevent it from being released into the environment.
The uncontrolled release of ozone into the environment is in fact the main danger:
- For people: it irritates and can damage the respiratory tract.
- For the environment: it is harmful to certain materials.
How is ozone used in cleaning?
Given these harmful side effects, it is essential that ozone used in cleaning is not released into the environment. It requires an instrument that gets the ozone to the surface to be cleaned, without dispersing the gas and contaminating the surrounding air.
We at Adiatek are very serious about this solution; our research has resulted in an ozone system for use in our floor-scrubbing machines. This system, combined with the 3SD system, has also been granted a European invention patent.
We have worked specifically on the problem of preventing the release of ozone into the environment. The ozone produced by our system is channelled through a mixing valve along with clean water from the tank, and then fed directly to the brushes.
This is the main difference with other systems, which feed ozone into the tank. But with this method, some of the ozone is released into the environment, with the result that more ozone must be produced and the surrounding air becomes contaminated.
Having more control over the ozone gives two advantages:
- More efficient use
- Less contamination of the surrounding area
Find out more here
The 3SD system, used in combination with the ozone system, makes the floor-scrubbing machines more versatile: you can thus alternate between traditional cleaning and cleaning with ozonated water, using the same machine.
You can in fact also alternate between traditional cleaning with detergents (they are kept in a separate tank from the clean water tank) and sanitising exclusively with ozone and water.
Find out more here
What do you think? What innovations should we adopt to make cleaning more effective and environmentally friendly?