What is Ozone? Getting to know the basics and how it can cut costs and help the environment.
In today’s world, we are all trying to do our part to help save the environment. But when it comes to commercial laundries, how do we get quality results without pumping more chemicals into the washer or spending hours pre-spotting and rewashing? That’s the fundamental goal of any establishment: Decrease operating costs while still producing quality results. Ozone can help meet that goal but the first step is understanding what ozone is and how it could benefit you.
What is Ozone?
Ozone (O3), can be generated naturally or manufactured in a controlled setting. Utilizing an ozone generator allows us to take ambient air (O2) and pass it through high electrical voltage plates to create the gaseous O3 that is then injected directly into the wash tub. By using this method, we have greater control over the amount of O3 that gets injected. There are several ways to measure O3 levels. The Oxidation-Reduction Potential (ORP) measures the oxidants in the water but may not give a truly accurate reading of how much gaseous O3 is being introduced the linen. The other method, Direct-Read, measures the gaseous O3 in parts per million (ppm) during the cycle. Sensors are installed in the back of the wash tub to guarantee that the optimal levels of O3 are reached.
How does it work?
Once ozone is introduced to bacteria, mold, or organic material, one of the oxygen molecules releases to destroy the matter. What’s left over is plain oxygen that can be released safely into the sewer or the environment. O3 will also attack matter in the incoming water as well, which helps fight any contaminates in the water such as chlorine or bacteria. Due to its short-life, 15-20 minutes, and the fact that ozone is not stable at first, we can lower the temperature of the water introduced to the washer. The higher temperature of the water, the harder it becomes to dissolve the ozone.
What are the major benefits of ozone?
- • Reduction in utilities:
- • Utilizing cold water washes not only helps reduce the strain put on the hot water heater but also cuts back on the gas/electricity needed to heat the water
- • O3 also helps loosen the fabric during the wash cycle which helps in several ways:
- • Reduce dry time by allowing better air flow through the fabric and lessening the amount of residual chemical left on the linen by 10%-30%
- • With a correctly programmed cycle, we can use this feature to improve the efficiency of the washer and reduce steps previously needed to produce quality results. This in turn will also help reduce water and sewer costs by 15%-35%
- • Increased linen life:
- • By washing in cold water, reducing chemical residue, and decreasing the wash and dry times, O3 will create less wear and tear on the linens.
- • Improved Efficiency:
- • With shorter cycle times and less time rewashing/pre-spotting, staff can take that extra few minutes from each cycle and use it somewhere else. This not only helps efficiency in the laundry but helps to cut labor costs by reducing operating hours or using those hours somewhere else
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