White Air Solutions, which was established in 2015 have developed an air purification system using photocatalytic oxidisation which extends storage capabilities and reduces waste by removing Ethylene and other VOC gases as well as viruses, pathogens, bacterial and fungal spores.
“We have been working on the system for a long time and now have some very interesting research data and results using our machines,” explains Karl Shackleton, sales Director at White Air Solutions. “It is an air purification machine for use in (cold) stores, food preparation and packing areas, it is a green technology using no chemicals or ozone. The machines take in the air in the room and kills pathogens, viruses, fungal spores and ethylene and then pushes out clean air.”
Viral, bacterial and fungal pathogens have continual re-infection sources coming into their environments so require constant elimination. Food preparation areas and storage rooms require an extremely clean environment to prevent pathogens contaminating the people, equipment and food.
“Our system is not a replacement for active infection control of surfaces but will rapidly reduce airborne infection and stop further contamination of rooms and the people in them. We can supply units that will give good levels of control in general areas but also in areas requiring exceptional control we can increase the filtration rates per/hr and the germicidal UV intensity.”
The PCO process is extremely safe and works 24h/day with very minimal maintenance. It is a very cost-effective method of pathogen control for clinical and high-care environments.
“There are other existing systems out there using different technology and I would challenge the efficiency of these systems. We put together bespoke systems for our customers, so we will go along to the premises and listen to the customer’s needs and assess the space where air purification is needed and make a machine to fit. We look at what is being stored and how long they need to store it for and also the storage.
“At the moment we have 30 machines working in spaces where cabbage, potatoes and onions are stored we are also doing some trials on citrus, soft fruit and stone fruit. We are currently working together with Lincoln University to produce data to prove what our air purification systems can do.
“In packing areas, it’s the ethylene gas which we are removing, our machines work on a specific number of air changes in the room, depending on the product there will be a different number of air changes in the room so we calculate that to get the maximum efficiency.”
In trials, White Air Solutions have seen that their air purification systems can extend shelf life of tomatoes up to eight weeks and cabbage for a year.
Karl reckons that customers will see a return on their investment after just a year, this varies per sector and product. “It’s not only the benefits you get from storage but there are savings to be had in running costs, some of the larger potato and cabbage stores have found that the cooling is running less as the air purifying machine is keeping the product in a lower state. There is less wastage which also reduces labour costs in that there is less need to remove product which has not kept well. The system also reduces a company’s carbon footprint.