Molecular charge attraction is key to giving companies a real solution to help keep their businesses up and running. But how does it work? What even is it? Why do we use it? We aim to bring you up to speed in this blog.
The Problem with Traditional Ventilation
Air pollution is a very real problem but when the average person thinks about air pollution, they ordinarily think about car emissions or the smog that engulfs third world cities. It is often quite surprising to learn that indoor air quality is 2-5x worse than outdoors, and that 95% of the world’s population are passively exposed to unsafe air according to the Health Effects Institute.
Making sure that a building is well-ventilated is therefore extremely important. Many companies use HEPA filters but most contaminants in the air - a staggering 92% - are too small to respond to ventilation. They are less than 0.5 microns in size and are so small that they don’t even respond to gravity; they stay in the air until they are either breathed in or react to a positive charge. To give you some idea of just how small 0.5 microns is, a human hair is roughly 70 microns wide, give or take 20 microns.
U-Earth bioreactors had to be better than what was already available. We have written about the different types of ventilation filters before including HEPA, UV and Carbon, but none are able to attract the 92% of contaminants that remain stagnant in the air. In order to attract these particles, U-Earth turned to physics and molecular charge attraction. But what is it?
How Molecular Charge Attraction makes U-Earth’s solution special
Molecular charge attraction may sound confusing but at its simplest can be described as a physical principle by which all charged particles are subject to a certain level of attraction when in the presence of an electro-magnetic field. It is the means by which dust accumulates on a television or laptop screen - the particles are attracted to the screen by the difference in charge. The same effect occurs when you hold your arm to the screen and your hairs stand on end. All U-Earth had to do was work out how to put it into practice.
The result was the AIRcel range of air purifiers. As can be seen in the diagrams below, the air purifier is filled with water and plugged into the mains. This allows a motor to power a pump which ensures a steady flow of water throughout the machine, which in turn creates its own electric field. All charged particles in the air, no matter the type or size, are drawn towards this electric field and are soon consumed into the air purifier; they are grounded to the unit and their natural electric charge is leveraged, thus creating a Pure Air Zone around the bioreactor.
Once plugged into the mains, the bioreactor doesn’t need to move to be effective. Because of another law of physics, Fick’s law of diffusion, particles and contaminants are constantly being drawn within range of the electric field generated by the AIRcel. Fick's law of diffusion describes how particles under random thermal motion tend to spread from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration. A good example of this is when someone sprays perfume or deodorant into the air; the smell moves throughout the room as the particles diffuse from one side of the room (high concentration) to the other (low concentration). As more particles are attracted into the air purifier, other particles rush to take their space, and also find themselves drawn in. The result is a constantly refreshing cycle.
Molecular Charge Attraction is just the Beginning
U-Earth uses molecular charge attraction because it is the most effective way of attracting particles and purifying the surrounding air, but it isn’t the only way U-Earth is different. Once particles are captured, U-Ox, our proprietary blend of bacteria and enzymes, ‘digest’ and destroy contaminants, leaving only harmful waste (this will be featured in a future blog post.) The end result is air that is always as pure as possible, which is why we dub any location that has an AIRcel as a Pure Air Zone. And soon, these places will be able to monitor their performance on an app!
To learn more about molecular charge attraction and the technology that goes into our air purifying bioreactors, please feel free to check out our technology page here.