In our first newsletter, we discussed the importance of transparency using a 3rd party engineer to perform the proper testing onsite to make sure the equipment installed is producing the results it was intended to produce. We gave you a snapshot of one of the (10) schools where AtmosAir’s patented dielectric barrier discharge bipolar ionization (DBD BPI) equipment was installed.
I am specifically mentioning dielectric barrier discharge bipolar ionization because it is the very reason our patented technology outperforms all other ionization technology (including needlepoint) from an efficacy standpoint and the very reason it is safe.
Here is a picture of one of our larger DBD BPI units, the AtmosAir 508FC, designed to be installed on the supply plenum of a large air handling unit (this unit can handle up to 15,000 CFM).
As you can see, this model has (8) DBD tubes. The tubes would be installed on the interior of the plenum with the rectangular box it is connected to on the outside of the plenum. Each one of these tubes produces up to 2000 volts of electricity (see below).
Important Note: Ionization energy (IE) is the amount of energy expressed in units of electron volts (eV), required to affect the removal of an electron from a molecule leading to the formation of an ion. To affect an oxygen molecule, eV needs to be at or close to 12.07eV. AtmosAir’s technology is at 12.6eV – confirming we are ionizing oxygen at that level!
Therefore, when using AtmosAir’s DBD BPI, air passing through the supply plenum is not just getting charged and creating ions. It is getting supercharged, which creates supercharged ions called superoxide anions.
Here is a simple fact: If ionization equipment you purchase is not producing these superoxide anions, then you will not get the same results. To be clear, the “ionizers” you may see on Amazon, the portable filters with ionizers, the UV devices with ionizers, etc. and even needlepoint bipolar ionizers do not generate superoxide anions.
Before we get into superoxide anions, lets tackle something important: High voltage usually produces ozone, except AtmosAir meets UL2998 – certified ozone free. How is this possible? Answer: The rectangular box in the pictures above contains a step-up transformer, so the power requirements that lead to their units (all unit models have same design) are always 110v drawing less than .5 amps – extremely low voltage.
One quick note about ions in general. Anyone who thinks ions are negative byproduct, should be stripped of their air quality credentials (or whatever credentials they have). These kinds of blatantly false statements are coming from people that either have an agenda or are recycling false information from people who have an agenda. For the record – Earth’s atmosphere produces ions. Any time you are in pristine environments like high mountain regions or near waterfalls, ion levels will be very high. For the geniuses that make these statements, they are telling you that it is unsafe to visit these locations. In essence – camping in the woods would be dangerous. If you would like to have a better understanding of ions, click here: The Nature of Air.
Circling back to superoxide anions, these ions are like the Navy Seals of ions. Since they are supercharged, they last much longer than regular ions. The half-life of these superoxide anions is approximately 300 seconds (about 5 minutes)! This is critically important to understand because the fact that they can last 300 seconds (about 5 minutes) enables them to travel for inside the supply plenum, through ductwork to get to the center of a large space of air and outperform any other technology on the market.
We are re-defining what it means to have an ACTIVE air purifying technology. One that is actively working before your students enter a room, while your students are in the room and after they leave.
So, what do these superoxide anions do? They accomplish three things:
- Agglomeration utilizes an ion’s charge to bind together fine particulate matter (e.g., PM2.5) until they precipitate out of the air.
- Sterilization occurs when ions bombard the surface of microorganisms (e.g., Sars-Cov2, bacteria, mold), which rob the cell wall of hydrogen atoms, thus hindering its ability to reproduce and interact with other organisms. (The technical terminology here is that the ions form hydroxyl radicals on the surface of microorganisms- more on this below.)
- Oxidation changes the chemical composition of noxious gasses, (e.g., VOCs), neutralizing the pollutant and making it water soluble to be washed away with rain.
This is science. It is not embellishing on the truth. It is information that cannot be disputed.
Here is another simple and important fact: If you have two classrooms that have the same level of ventilation, using the same filtrations strategy and the same students, and you measured the ions in one classroom at 1,000 ions per cubic centimeter (cc) – in the center of the classroom 3′ off the ground – and the ions in another classroom at 3,000 ions per cc, the classroom with classroom with 3,000 ions per cc is always going to be safer for your students and teachers. (For those who think all you need is ventilation, filtration, and humidity control- please reread this fact a few times.)
The reality is that AtmosAir’s DBD BPI works and is quantifiable. This is the kind of combination that brings confidence back to your schools. Something everyone can agree on.
So, if all of this is true then why do you see people making statements and/or author articles about how “electronic air cleaning technology can generate unintended pollutants”?
Surely – one of us must be right and the other wrong.
It is less about right and wrong and more about studies performed on products, and misunderstandings of what these studies mean. We could all be right. We just need to have a better understanding. Here is a “smoking gun” that we felt would give you a better understanding.
July 14, 2021, Georgia Institute of Technology study titled: Study Shows that Electronic Air Cleaning Technology Can Generate Unintended Pollutants. “Led by Associate Professor Nga Lee “Sally” Ng in Georgia Tech’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, the team evaluated the effect of a hydroxyl radical generator in an office setting.”
This is not even an ionization technology. It is equipment that is directly generating hydroxyl radicals.
I need to get slightly technical here to explain something because this is particularly important.
Ions, specifically only superoxide anions, naturally produce hydroxyl radicals when the ions attach themselves, for example, to a virus (as stated above under “Sterilization”). The ion, which is an oxygen molecule (O), combines with a hydrogen molecule (H) on the surface of the virus to form a hydroxyl radical naturally (OH). Note: No electronics helping to generate it when these appear naturally. Once this happens, the OH, again, naturally searches for another (H) to turn it into H2O (natural science is amazing). It naturally rips another (H) out of the same virus to accomplish this – effectively making the virus unable to reproduce- or what microbiologists would say it “inactivates the virus.”
To be clear, AtmosAir DBD BPI generates ions NOT hydroxyl radicals. The study proves that hydroxyl radical generators can generate unintended pollutants. This study says NOTHING about AtmosAir’s DBD BPI or ionization.
In the spirit of transparency, if you would like to read the Georgia Tech Study yourself- here you go: https://news.gatech.edu/news/2021/07/14/study-shows-electronic-air-cleaning-technology-can-generate-unintended-pollutants
As always – we will do our best to lead with integrity.