1. How does the system work?
The Hawkeye Aqueous Ozone Disinfectant Delivery System can be configured as a portable, fixed installation or transportable decontamination system that takes in air through an air compressor; dehumidifies the air and converts it to oxygen by removing nitrogen, carbon dioxide and other trace elements; converts the oxygen into ozone; cools it for stability; injects it into a water stream for use as a dispensing vehicle; and delivers the resulting aqueous ozone mist through an extendable hose & sprayer.
2. How does Ozone work as a disinfectant?
Ozone Molecules (O3) are created from Oxygen (O2) as a result of an electrical charge being applied (in the Hawkeye Aqueous Ozone Disinfectant Delivery System). Oxygen has two atoms and high voltage breaks these two atoms apart. The atoms join back together in groups of threes (O3), an unstable arrangement that wants to dissolve itself. As the O3 molecule floats in the air, if one of the atoms locates a contaminant it breaks away from the other two atoms and attaches itself to the contaminant. This attack on the contaminant (oxidation) creates a microscopic explosion. Both the contaminant and the atom are destroyed and the remaining two atoms are left behind as pure oxygen (O2), which we can then breathe. Ozone is highly reactive so it interacts with viruses, other contaminants and allergens it encounters rendering them harmless while also removing odors. Once a contaminant is oxidized by the ozone it is no longer toxic. As a result, even if an oxidized contaminant remains in the air and is inhaled it has no negative health effect. Microorganisms such as mold spores or bacteria that have been exposed to ozone are no longer able to reproduce, which causes their numbers to quickly diminish. Should the O3 molecule not find a contaminant in its environment, it will revert back to O2 (normal oxygen) within minutes .
Ozone is biocidal, which means it kills harmful biological and bacterial contaminants. This biocidal action results from its reaction with the double bonds of fatty acids in bacterial cell walls, membranes and the protein capsid of viruses. In bacteria, ozone attacks these cell walls resulting in a change in the cell permeability and leakage, breaking down membranes and ultrastructural components of the organism. In more simple terms, the unstable electrons of ozone blast holes through the membranes. This occurs by cell lysing or rupturing the cell wall of bacteria, yeast and abnormal tissue cells destroying them by inactivation of the microorganism's enzymes. In viruses, alteration of the protein capsid prevents the virus from being taken up by susceptible cells. Ozone displays an "all or nothing" effort in terms of destroying bacteria and viruses. It is such a strong germicide that only a few micrograms per liter are required to demonstrate germicidal action. Factors like humidity, temperature, pH, ozone concentration levels, type of organism and time determine the kill rate for pathogens. The action of ozone gas in water is instantaneous. After oxidation, ozone returns to its original form of oxygen without leaving any toxic by-products or residues.
3. Is Ozone proven to kill bacteria and viruses?
Ozone has proven to be a safe and effective way of killing bacteria and viruses, including various coronaviruses. It has shown it can to destroy Ebola, SARS, MERS, Cryptosporidium and many other contaminants. Ozone works by penetrating the cell wall of the pathogen and destroying it from the outside. Ozone has been documented to be 50 times stronger than chlorine bleach and 5,000 times more effective than Chloramine as a disinfectant. Clinical and scientific references are available upon request.
4. Are there any environmental or health risks?
There has been no evidence of negative environmental or health effects from exposure to ozone at concentrations within those levels that are set by OSHA and the EPA. If exposed to higher concentration levels, short-term health effects that individuals may experience include respiratory discomfort, headache and eye irritation. The threshold measurements established by OSHA and the EPA for an inhabited room is less than 0.1 ppm for up to 8 hours continuously and less than 0.3 ppm for short durations. The aqueous ozone misting process application as described in our manual has not indicated that it results in ambient air ozone gas levels that exceed those thresholds. Once applied, the ozone (O3) immediately begins to dissipate and reverts back to oxygen (O2).
5. Is the product approved or certified, and where?
Aqueous Ozone is not classified as a delivered or stored chemical/pesticide and as a result the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not require the Hawkeye system to be tested, approved or certified by them. Rather the EPA exercise their jurisdiction over the system under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) for what they have determined it to be, a pesticide device. Badger Technology has been granted both a company and a production/facility registration by the EPA.
The USDA and FDA have approved the use of ozone as a decontaminant for food and drinking water. These organizations have also labeled ozone with GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) approval for the use on surface sanitation of all food production and service facilities Ozone is widely used to clean municipal water and bottle water as well as for hospital laundry, grain and other commercial items. OSHA has set regulations as it pertains to the use and levels of ozone in the workplace as referenced in 4 above. This is to ensure that the human exposure to ozone is maintained at safe levels when it is used for decontamination purposes.
6. Where is it being used?
Many municipalities and organizations across the United States and internationally are utilizing ozone in different decontamination capacities including for agriculture, water purification, food production facilities and general cleaning disinfectant services including for at-home applications. Ozone in various configurations and delivery methods has been proven to eliminate mold, odor, viruses and bacteria. What the Hawkeye Aqueous Ozone Disinfectant Delivery System does is to adapt and apply that proven decontamination technology to a suitable delivery systems capable of dispensing the appropriate concentration of ozone to clean and disinfect large scale facilities in a more rapid and cost effective manner. Ozone is a proven disinfectant technology and Badger Technology Innovations group has created the Hawkeye System in an effort to make it possible for a variety of agencies, industries and organizations to effectively fight everyday pathogens in the current and any future public health crisis.
7. How fast can a Hawkeye system be delivered?
Production and delivery of the Hawkeye Aqueous Ozone Disinfectant Delivery System is approximately 3-6 weeks from time of order based on our current workload at the time of the order. If you are located outside the United States, the lead time may be improved if one of our local production partners can support your requirement.
8. What are the recurring costs for the Hawkeye Aqueous Disinfectant Delivery System as compared to chemical disinfectants?
Manual application of chemical disinfectants such as bleach-based products require large amounts of bleach wipes/rags, masks, gloves and a large labor contingent. Depending upon the local labor cost and the complexity of the facility, the recurring cost of manual chemical cleaning can range from $120-$200 per 10,000 sq ft (900 sq m). The Hawkeye Aqueous Ozone Disinfectant Delivery System utilizes only air (free), electricity from the facility electrical outlets or self-contained generator (estimated <1 g of gasoline for this area), and water for an approximate cost of $1 for this equivalent area. The initial procurement cost of the Hawkeye system may be recovered after only a few months. As an example, for hotels disinfecting a single room with bleach may cost $1.50 per room as compared to essentially $0 for the Hawkeye system.
9. What resources are needed to operate this system?
A major advantage of the Hawkeye Aqueous Ozone Disinfectant Delivery System is the ease of the decontamination process and system operation. The aqueous ozone is created with air, water and electricity on site and on demand with no residue to be wiped down. One person can operate the system with the dispensing wand/sprayer. For disinfecting large-scale facilities, the Hawkeye system can be supplied with dual wands/sprayers and external (trailer mounted) water tanks, thus requiring a two-person operation.