The science behind Air Disinfection Biosecurity

The science behind ADB

PathogenFocus' Air Disinfection Biosecurity technology units are highly effective against viruses (including SARS-CoV-2), bacteria, mold, spores, and all common pathogens. This technology is proven safe and effective. But how does it work?

  1. First, ambient air is captured and exposed to high frequency controlled electrical pulses within the system's chamber. Moisture from the air is broken down at the molecular level. No toxic chemicals are used.
  2. This creates a burst of charged particles referred to as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), including gas-phase hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 - (a powerful biocide), superoxide (O2-) and singlet oxygen (1O2). Singlet oxygen is a very strong oxidant and readily oxidizes cellular structure components such as lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Singlet oxygen can be quite long-lived in a cell and can diffuse over appreciable distances, including across cellular membranes into extracellular compartments (Manda et al. 2009).
  3. These reactive particles are then dispersed through the air via the HVAC/air handling system or portable unit acting as airborne neutralizing agents.
  4. Charged particles contact air and surface pathogens, destroying their DNA/RNA to render them inactive.
Air Disinfection Biosecurity process

These ADB systems utilize no consumables. They work by converting humidity (H20 vapor to H202) via a Modulated Dielectric Barrier Discharge System. Dynamic control modules are programmed for accurate environmental readings every 60 to 90 seconds. The controller's interface determines to engage or disengage the modulated barrier discharge intermittently for consistent sanitation.

hydrogen peroxide

H2O2's role vs. pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2

H2O2 ions (two parts oxygen and two parts hydrogen) are nature's natural pathogen elimination system. Utilizing this technology is extremely safe for human occupants to rapidly eliminate pathogens. Hydrogen peroxide has been used by the medical community for 170 years. H2O2 is used in toothpaste, mouthwash, and household cleaners.

The best pathogen elimination systems on the market utilize H2O2. The EPA has recognized hydrogen peroxide ions as an effective infection control and microbial treatment technology.

In addition to inactivating viruses and killing bacteria, H2O2 will kill all preexisting mold, fungus, dust mites, etc., and brings the building to a very low infestation rate.

The system uses very little energy to operate, typically around 0.15 watts per square foot treated. The system enables dramatically reduced air intake by the HVAC system, saving energy whenever heating or cooling is needed.

H2O2 ions (two parts oxygen and two parts hydrogen) are nature's natural pathogen elimination system. Utilizing this technology is extremely safe for human occupants to rapidly eliminate pathogens. Hydrogen peroxide has been used by the medical community for 170 years. H2O2 is used in toothpaste, mouthwash, and household cleaners.

The best pathogen elimination system on the market utilize H2O2. The EPA has recognized hydrogen peroxide ions as an effective infection control and microbial treatment technology.

In addition to inactivating viruses and killing bacteria, H2O2 will kill all preexisting mold, fungus, dust mites, etc., and brings the building to a very low infestation rate.

The system uses very little energy to operate, typically around .15 watts per square foot treated. The system enables dramatically reduced air intake by the HVAC system, saving energy whenever heating or cooling is needed.

Our natural immune system

It's interesting to note that within our own body's immune system, when a microbe is recognized by phagocytes and engulfed, a natural immune response process called respiratory burst is initiated. Much of this process within our own body's immune response centers around this very reaction of superoxide and water to create H2O2, as well as the reaction of singlet oxygen which, as mentioned earlier, will oxidize many of a microbe's cellular components. In a way, we are essentially taking this part of our body's natural immune response to pathogens and bringing it out into our building spaces. Once the reaction is complete, we are left with water vapor and non-reactive O2.

The body's immune system fights pathogens similarly to ADB technology

Advantages over other potential solutions

ADB technology provides many advantages over other pathogen eradicating solutions. Utilizing ultraviolet light at 254 nanometers (UVC) is proven effective against pathogens, but relies on line of sight, so it isn't a perfect solution for hard-to-reach areas. Also, UVC can be hazardous to the skin and eyes of humans. So when UVC is utilized, it must be in either unoccupied spaces, or in indirect applications such as enclosed air boxes or upper air irradiation units.

Bipolar ionization units are also being advertised as a pathogen eradicating option. However, the efficacy of these products is in question. And there is a possibility these units create hazardous by-products.

When comparing the various methods of pathogen eradication, another very important factor to consider is speed. Speed is critical. If an infected person enters a space and releases SARS-CoV-2 into the air, the speed in which the system inactivates the virus is of the utmost importance. ADB technology works tremendously faster than other methods in the market. The transmission of viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 is vastly diminished by the fact that airborne viruses are inactivated so quickly by ADB. Airborne SARS-CoV-2 is reduced by 90 percent in 16 seconds, and by 99.9 percent in 30 seconds using ADB.

Consider this - the typical person exhales about 0.25 cubic feet of air in one minute. In the 16 seconds required for ADB to inactivate 90 percent of an airborne virus, that translates to just 0.07 cubic feet of air. This leaves only 0.007 cubic feet of infected air that can possibly create transmission of the virus. Fourteen seconds later, even that is virtually all eliminated, with the elimination percentage being 99.9 percent in 30 seconds. Due to the speed in which ADB can inactivate viruses like SARS-CoV-2, this severely limits the chances of transmission from person to person.

Keeping in mind how critical speed is, check out the below comparison charts. These charts, from an independent third party testing laboratory, show how well ADB units perform against other common methods. ADB achieved a 3-log reduction kill rate (99.9 percent reduction) significantly faster than the rest.

In fact, in all four of these tests (aerosolized viruses and bacteria, as well as surface viruses and bacteria), ADB achieved an 8-log reduction (99.999999 percent) right around the time the other methods only started to take effect!

Aerosolized Viruses: ADB achieved a 99.9 percent reduction in about 30 seconds. The next fastest method was bipolar ionization (BPI-2), which took nearly 10 minutes to achieve 99.9 percent:

ADBvsAerosolizedVirus

Viruses on Surfaces (Stainless Steel, Plastic, Linoleum, and Fabric): ADB achieved a 99.9 percent reduction in just over 10 minutes:

ADBvsSurfaceVirus

Aerosolized Bacteria: ADB achieved a 99.9 percent reduction in just under a minute:

ADBvsAerosolizedBacteria

Bacteria on Surfaces (Stainless Steel, Plastic, Linoleum, and Fabric): ADB achieved a 99.9 percent reduction in about 10-12 minutes:

ADB's effectiveness against surface bacteria

SUPPORTING SCIENCE

Click links below to view .pdf documents.

Effectiveness vs. Viruses:

Effectiveness vs. Bacteria:

Effectiveness vs. Fungi:

More Research

Validations

  • United States Department of Agriculture - Effect of a Reactive Oxygen Species-generating system for control of airborne microorganisms in a meat-processing environment; Evaluation of activated oxygen systems to control botrytis and decay in perishables.
  • Food Safety & Management Group, Inc. - Effect of ADB technology to create a safe environment for the control of human coronavirus on various inoculated surfaces.
  • Food Science Institute - Evaluation of the application of ADB technology to reduce contamination in industrial surfaces; Evaluation of reaction chamber and reactive species for reducing microbial populations on stainless steel, plastic and polyethylene surfaces.
  • Food Safety & Process Technology - Response surface modeling for the inactivation of Listeria monocytogenes on stainless steel surfaces by ADB treatment; ADB technology creating a safe food environment in the elimination of Influenza A, mRSA norovirus and rhinovirus on various inoculated surfaces; Microbiological report on air and surfaces in ADB-treated vehicles.
  • Ainia Centro Tecnológico - Evaluation of the application of ADB technology to reduce contamination in industrial surfaces.
  • Certified Food Safety Center, Inc. - Neutralization of Escherichia coli, Listeria and Salmonella in cooling coils, cardboard, wood, stainless steel and plastic.
  • Eurofins - Inactivation of Enterococcus faecium on whole walnuts by atmospheric cold plasma
  • Laboratoire National de Métrologie Et D'Essais - Evaluation of ADB technology for aspergillus environmental fungus reduction.
  • Universidad de Chile - Prediction of the sanitization periodicity of vehicle's air conditioning and cabin circuit using ADB system.
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile - Study of the effect of the sanitization of ADB technology on the development of environmental mold inside a vehicle.