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Ozo Innovations eyes expansion for electrolysed water tech

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: Ozo Innovations
Picture: Ozo Innovations

Related tags Chlorine

Ozo Innovations has moved to larger premises and plans to double in size in the next six months.

The firm said the need to relocate was driven by customer interest for its electrolysed water systems.

Ozo Innovations’ technology transforms water and salt into disinfectants for the food production and processing industries.

The cleaning and disinfectant products are manufactured on site at customer premises and can replace chemicals. Once clean the firm recommends rinsing with cold water to remove any residues.

Product launch upcoming

Ozo Innovations is taking orders and scheduling installations now for its elosystem product which will be deployed in January.

Elosystem is a larger volume version of elocube, which generates electrolysed water.

It has onboard monitoring linked to a database enabling data analytics and ensuring installation performance is as expected. The system also knows how much re-agent has been used and can schedule for refill deliveries.

The system can be customised from a set of standard modular components and while most customers run for night time or deep cleaning some use it for changeover cleaning.

Elocube can make 50-100 litres of electrolysed water and is for use in smaller food factories and processing plants.

Rowan Gardner, CEO of Ozo Innovations, said electrolysed water systems have been around for a while but it does it differently in terms of how it is made, scale and the combination of cleaning and disinfection.

“You have less time cleaning and disinfecting as you don’t have to do multiple steps so you have more time making product,” ​she told FoodQualityNews.

“Generally people do not know [much about the technique], they are familiar with older approaches and of shortcomings such as electrolysed water might be corrosive or they have used it and not found it efficient for their needs.

“Traditional electrolysed water was acidic when produced, the way we manufacture it, it is neutral pH, so that is not a problem. If they are concerned about the lack of efficacy, ours is 10-50 times the strength of lesser electrolysed waters.

“It is energy efficient compared to the power to heat to 70 degrees for hot water washing. Other hot washing problems are in a chilled environment, if you use hot water you get condensation and can’t see the surface clearly.

“Condensation can go up to the ceiling and drip down somewhere else which could spread contamination, which is far from ideal. Hot water in a cold environment raises the temperature of the facility and you need to re-chill the area you worked in.”

Gardner added it is compliant with European Biocides regulation and plans to target all of Europe after initial focus on the UK as that is where it is based.

The firm has received Innovate UK grants that have co-funded initial development of its intellectual property.

Ozo Innovations has moved to larger premises in Kidlington, Oxfordshire.

The former premises of Drayson Racing Technologies, in electric vehicles, offer a unit that was ready to move into with minimal modification.

It employees 15 people and outside experts and hopes to have at least twice that many by this time next year.

Gardner said the power infrastructure for developing electric racing cars proved similar with Ozo's requirements to use power, salt and water to deliver disinfection capability at food factory scale.

The science behind electrolysed water 

Ozo Innovations’ electrolysed water is produced in a process using a patented flow cell technology without the need for a membrane.

Electrolysed Water is produced by inducing an over-potential in a saline solution. This over-potential (ORP) changes the normal equilibrium in pure water (H2O) to favour production of oxidative radical species such as hydroxyl ions (OH–), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and ozone (O3).

When chloride salts are added (such as sodium chloride), novel chloride species such as hypochlorite ions (ClO–) and hypochlorous acid (HOCl) can be produced, which has a broad spectrum anti-microbial activity.

Electrolysed Water is generated using salt and water in an elocube or elosystem which applies a DC voltage across layers of boron-doped diamond electrodes. This induces a dipole, allowing very high ORPs to be generated in continuous flow.

Testing has been done against EN 1276 Quantitative Suspension Test of Bactericidal Activity of Chemical Disinfectants and EN 1650.

Gardner said it compared the electrolysed water method to traditional cleaning at one site and while the traditional method took 59 minutes, its method took 13 minutes.

“It will vary by application, the complexity of the equipment being cleaned but instead of around five steps you effectively have one and save about a quarter of the time in general.

“Electrolysed water is effective on floors and is safe to use on all surfaces that you commonly encounter in a food factory but there are surfaces we recommend not to use it on. It can also be applied as a fog for general control of the environment.”

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