The threat of climate change, our heightened awareness of the dangers of chemicals and toxins and growing appreciation of our environment is causing individuals, companies and organisations to seek out safer, more environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional disinfection.
The word ‘disinfection’ initially conjures up thoughts of cleaning and sterilisation however it goes further than surfaces in homes and offices. Disinfection is used in many industries to kill bacteria and pathogens:
- Swimming pool disinfection
- Fruit and vegetable processing
- Meat preservation
- Surface cleaning
- Drinking water disinfection
- Animal husbandry
Typically in all these scenario’s Chlorine (sodium hypochlorite, Ci) is used. Chlorine brings with it a number of risks and issues, yet it is continuing to be used to ‘safeguard’ us against bacteria.
Yes, of course, different chemicals are used in place of Chlorine but these also come with their own advantages and disadvantages.
One of the emerging, safe alternatives to all of these strong and harmful disinfectants is electrolysed water.
We say ‘emerging’ but electrolysed water is not new. Electrolysed water was discovered back in 1834 but the concept was underdeveloped until after World War Two when the Russians and Japanese started carrying out studies in the 1950’s.
What is electrolysed water?
Electrolysed water is a safe, non-toxic, effective alternative to chlorine and is known by several different names:
- Electrolysed oxidizing water
- Electro-activated water
- Electro-chemically activated water solution
- Electrolysed water (UK spelling)
- Electrolyzed water (US spelling)
It is created by the electrolysis of ordinary tap water containing dissolved sodium chloride (salt).
The solution is proven to be highly effective at killing a number of bacteria and pathogens:
- Novo virus
- Avían Flu
- Swine Flu
- Clostridium Difficile
How is electrolysed water made?
Some processes may vary between electrolyzed water producers however we can share with you, our process and the science behind it.
The generators themselves are built to produce varying amounts of Electrolysed water (Litres per hour L/H) depending on each customer’s requirements. We refer to this as the 'size' of the machine, they are available in:
- 120 L/H
- 240 L/H
- 480 L/H
The amount of Electrolysed Water (ESOL) required, is dependent on its intended use or application.
The systems consist of two modules:
- 'Dry' control module providing the power and processing capability
- Generating module containing the 'wet' components that produce the electrolysed water, including the unique ESOL core.
All generators can be equipped with a data logger with an integral GSM/GPRS modem. This allows you to monitor different variables remotely, such as:
- ORP (Oxidization Reduction Potential)
- PH levels
- Chlorine levels
- Generator state
- Water softener state
The data logger sends real time and historic data to a web interface. The web interface can display the data in table, chart and graphical views. Data can also be displayed in real time with control panel and mimic panel views (below)
We can also set alarm levels for individual parameters to generate SMS and email alerts.
What ingredients are in Electrolyzed oxidizing water?
The ingredients that are used to produce electrolyzed water are salt (NaCl), water (H2O) and electricity – nothing more.
The electrolysis process produces two separate solutions from a double chambered cell; the positive chamber produces a solution containing a range of oxidisers and a small amount of hypochlorous acid. The negative chamber produces sodium hydroxide.
We are interested in the positive solution; when the ions reach the positive electrode, it creates anolyte which forms new active species including:
- Hydroxyl radicals
- Oxygen molecules
- Hypochlorous Acid
- Hydroxide Ions
However, these are present in such minuscule quantities they are hard to measure.
The resulting ‘water’ from the positive chamber is Electrolysed water (ESOL™) an effective, safe disinfectant.
Research into the efficiency of electrolysed water has been carried out in conjunction with the University of the West of England - the official paper is available here:
Is electrolysed water safe?
Yes, ESOL Electrolyzed water is safe to humans, animals and the environment.
It has also been approved under regulation 31 of the Water Supply Regulations 2000 for use in public water supplies in the UK.
How does electrolysed water kill bacteria?
When immersed in ESOL™ a bacterium, virus, or other microorganism, that can cause disease, will come into contact with powerful oxidants.
In recent years, the word ‘anti-oxidant’ has become increasingly common place when referring to health, food and dietary supplements. So the logical train of thought would suggest that ‘oxidant’ may carry negative connotations.
However, depending on the subject matter, oxidants or oxidisation can become very powerful when used to remove electrons.
When bacteria comes into contact with these oxidants, the electrons are removed, causing the biochemical bonds to rupture and render its function; effectively ‘killing’ the bacteria
This is often described as an 'oxidative stress'.
This oxidative stress leads to a rapid destruction of pathogens, with most bacteria, viruses and fungi being destroyed within two seconds.
Our aim is to arm you with the right information to allow you to understand and decide if electrolysed water is the right fit for your business.
No product is a ‘one size fits all’ solution and we are aware that there will be reasons why an ESOL generator is not what you are looking for.
What reasons would stand between you and us working together?
There are five main reasons why our electrolysed water generators would not be the right fit for you:
- ESOL™ Technology does not filter water
- Your water is too contaminated
- You want to recycle small scale domestic waste water
- Electrolysed water will corrode low grade metals and plasticise some plastics
- You are looking for high chlorine content in your disinfection solution
You can find out more about the 5 reasons why an electrolysed water generator may not be the right fit for you here:
Would you like to find out more about electrolysed water or the generators themselves? contact us here
We have included a few link in this article, to make it easy for you to find, we have popped them below: Scientific paper from European journal of clinical microbiology and infectious diseases What is ESOL electrolyed water? 5 reasons why an electrolysed water generator may not be the right fit for you