HVAC system covered in snow

What is Photocatalytic Oxidation?

The photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) process involves combining ultraviolet light irradiation with a titanium dioxide coated filter. Here’s how the titanium dioxide catalyst in an air purifier breaks apart molecules of air pollution:

  1. When UV light shines on the titanium dioxide, electrons are released at its surface. It’s the electrons that do the useful air purification work.
  2. The electrons interact with water molecules in the air, breaking them up into hydroxyl radicals, which are highly reactive, short-lived, uncharged forms of hydroxide ions.
  3. These small hydroxyl radicals then attack bigger organic pollutant molecules, breaking apart their chemical bonds and turning them into harmless substances such as carbon dioxide and water.

Using Photocatalytic Oxidation Against COVID-19

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers recognizes UV light’s ability to destroy viruses. During the SARS outbreak of 2003, research found it was highly susceptible to UV treatments. Data used to analyze the effectiveness against COVID-19 shows a similar sensitivity, proving PCO is an effective indoor air quality treatment.

The major concerns of indoor air quality pertaining to COVID-19 are how long the virus remains in the air and how far it can travel. The Coronavirus is known to spread via water droplets in the air, which are inhaled into the lungs. Recent research shows that aerosol transmission, or simple breathing, without the presence of water droplets can also cause exposure. Keeping a high level of indoor air quality significantly helps reduce the spread of all airborne viruses, further highlighting the importance of photocatalytic oxidation systems for buildings.

React Industries is installing commercial air filtration equipment that uses advanced hydrated photocatalytic oxidation to deactivate viruses and other airborne contaminants. Find Out More

Photocatalytic Oxidation For Indoor Air Purification

A photocatalytic air purifier is applied by using a building’s current air conditioning unit. After having PCO technology professionally installed, your HVAC unit pulls air into the pass through PRO-Cell’s unique honeycomb aluminum substrate. By doing so, it increases surface area and the catalytic output exponentially, while also magnifying its effectiveness with the UVC light. 

Cube commercial air purification systems with PRO-Cell feature high-efficiency filtration combined with up to three odor and volatile organic compound (VOC) reduction levels. The advantage of using photocatalytic air purifiers instead of other air-cleaning technologies, such as filters, is that instead of just trapping pollutants, they completely transform the harmful pollutants and destroy them.

A single Cube commercial induct air filter and purifier is capable of total air purification with up to six tons of load capacity. Cubes can be bundled together to handle up to a 36-ton capacity.

Is Using Photocatalytic Oxidation Safe?

Using photocatalytic oxidation technology is a safe and effective way to improve indoor air quality. Many air purification systems produce harmful ozone; however, Cube air purifiers with PRO-Cell convert ozone into safe, healthy oxygen. Ozone is a toxic gas which can damage the lungs when inhaled. Even low amounts can cause numerous health concerns, such as chest pain, coughing, and irritation. Ozone can also have a negative effect on chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma. The EPA determined that ozone generators are not safe, and they do not effectively eliminate indoor air pollutants. When considering an air purification system, the best advice is to work with a company that doesn’t use ozone producing products.

Photocatalytic Oxidation System Installations

To improve indoor air quality (IAQ), Pro-Cell systems are installed in the air inlet side of any existing heating and air conditioning system inside a building. Operation of the air handler fan unit is required for air purification to take place. Working with HVAC professionals to make sure your building has a proper ventilation system improves the air quality as well. Recent advances in this technology have made installation even easier as well as reducing costs.

Because of the wide-ranging benefits, PCO technology is installed in numerous industries, such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Airports
  • Retail stores
  • Restaurants
  • Casinos
  • Commercial offices and buildings
  • Homes

Take Proactive Steps in Protecting Your Building

With such a wide variety of air purification technology available for businesses to use in their facilities, it is crucial to work with an HVAC partner like React to find the ideal solution. Contact us today to get started on keeping your facility safe.