Low-temperature disinfection: A new energy saving and chemical-free alternative in textile sanitisation

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Disinfected textiles are a crucial part of a safe environment in many industries. Our new, planet-friendly laundry system utilises ozone, a completely natural byproduct of green hydrogen production. Our ozone cleaning system acts as a highly effective disinfectant, eliminating the need for chemicals and heat, while reducing energy and water consumption.

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The environmental impact of textile disinfection

Textile disinfection and sterilisation are essential for maintaining a safe environment in work settings. Healthcare environments, including hospitals and care homes, depend on sterilisation of workwear and bedlinen, which plays a vital role in infection control, patient safety and staff protection – preventing the spread of common yet deadly bacterias and viruses such as MRSA, e-Coli, and Norovirus. The hospitality industry relies on sterilised linen supplies to maintain cleanliness while ensuring the safety and satisfaction of guests.

While disinfection is a crucial part of the laundry process, traditional disinfection methods require high temperatures leading to increased energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, or large amounts of chemicals resulting in the release of toxic waste into wastewater, potentially polluting our waters and affecting aquatic ecosystems.

Ozone: A sustainable alternative to heat and chemical disinfection

UCZ have designed a new disinfection system that utilises ozone, a completely natural byproduct of our zero-emission, green energy solution. Our ozone technology eradicates the need for harmful chemicals and energy-consuming heat treatments, while significantly reducing the amount of water required and waste that is produced.

Ozone, often referred to as “activated oxygen,” is a highly reactive gas known for its powerful oxidising properties, making it particularly useful in the laundry process. Our zero-emission energy solution produces ozone during electrolysis – when electricity is converted to hydrogen – by subjecting oxygen molecules to electrical discharges. Our unique cleaning system utilises highly efficient ozone and water to replace heat and outdated detergents, creating an economically viable solution to unnecessary pollutants.

Effective disinfection, stain removal and bleaching

Ozone’s potent disinfectant properties make it highly effective in killing bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. This is particularly valuable for industries with high cleanliness standards, such as healthcare and hospitality. Ozone’s oxidative power promotes the breakdown of organic compounds that cause stains and odours on fabrics and acts as a natural bleaching agent, consequently reducing the need for traditional, damaging, chemical bleach.

Saves energy, water, and eliminates the need for chemicals

The quick action and reactivity of ozone leads to efficient stain removal and fabric sanitisation, allowing for shorter wash cycles which saves water, energy, and time. Ozone’s stain removal capabilities mean  less detergents and other chemicals are needed, leaving a more eco-friendly laundry process. Ozone is effective even in cold water, further reducing the need for hot water – a significant energy consumer in laundry operations – contributing to overall energy savings and reducing emissions.

Increases textile lifespan and reduces textile waste

Sterilising textiles at low temperature with a minimal amount of processing not only eliminates the use of chemicals and reduces the consumption of water and energy – it also extends the life of the textiles. Less textiles need to be discarded, so less textiles need to be produced – reducing the impact of general textiles manufacturing processes.

General textile and linen production is a highly intensive and water demanding process. Our energy and cleaning solutions are just the first step. UCZ are currently working with international partners to transform the wider textile industry. Our researchers and engineers are collaborating with academics, universities and global linen manufacturers to reduce the impact of global textile production on the environment and make it more sustainable for the future.

Overcoming the main challenge: Eliminating the risk of ozone emissions

Ozone has previously been viewed negatively in terms of environmental impact. Without proper management, ozone can leak into the atmosphere during the disinfection process. Once airborne, ozone contributes to air pollution and climate change, negatively impacting human health and ecosystems. UCZ has developed a solution to this challenge with our unique, closed-system ozone technology, which securely contains the gas. This innovation allows us to utilise the benefits of ozone gas, eliminating the risk of leaks, and ensuring our zero-emission goals remain 100% intact.

Our disinfection solution offers a sustainable alternative to traditional methods, addressing critical environmental concerns whilst ensuring effectiveness. By sidestepping chemicals and high temperatures, and minimising the use of energy and water, we are not only making laundry processes more efficient – but also reducing its environmental footprint. Through our commitment to innovation and sustainability, we are shaping a cleaner and more responsible path forward for textile disinfection.

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