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Universities

CASE STUDY: How trioxygen is cleaning up on campus

A new generation of powerful deodorisers and sanitizers is helping clean up on campuses across the UK.

The Gteck range from Oxford-based Greenteck Global is harnessing the power of trioxygen – and elemental force as old as the planet itself – to provide high-tech cleaning solutions for the 21st Century.

Trioxygen, or ozone (O3) occurs naturally in our atmosphere, most noticeably in the Ozone Layer high above the Earth’s surface, and is produced by lightning over the oceans. People visiting the coast often say they can ‘smell the ozone’.

The Gteck units use UV light to produce trioxygen in carefully controlled amounts and rates. The extra electron in the oxygen (O3) ‘attacks’ odours, grease, mould spores and even smoke damage.

But at the end of the process the O3 simply decays back to normal oxygen (O2). So as well as providing significant cost-saving benefits compared with using traditional, aggressive, chemical cleaning methods, the Gteck system is safe, easy-to-use and environmentally friendly.

Greenteck Global produces a range of units from one small and simply enough to plug in to a standard electrical socket to provide constant background deodorising to the powerful 64 g generator that can be used for ‘shock-treatment’ in a particularly badly affected room /location.

There is also a Gteck Destruct unit: fully compatible with the generators; that will operate automatically at the end of a cleaning cycle to neutralise any unused trioxygen.

In addition to the standard deodorising / sanitising the units can also be installed with – or retro-fitted to – extraction systems in commercial kitchens to degrease and remove cooking odours.

For universities and colleges one of the main uses for trioxygen is in student accommodation / halls of residence.  This is especially true at this time of year when cold, wet, weather means the heating is turned up, windows are kept closed, dirty, wet, clothing is often left piled in corners and so mould and odour are almost perennial problems.

Over the past year Greenteck Global has sold / installed units to universities up and down the country, including: Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester, Oxford Brookes, Royal Holloway University of London, Falmouth and Optivo Welkin Halls of Residence Eastbourne.

  • Cardiff – uses the plug-in units to control malodour in student rooms 
  • Leeds – has now purchased wall-mounted Aura units for a number of stair wells where there were issues with malodour migrating up stair wells onto other floors, this was, in part, from Mould .They also purchased the Airteck 10000pd unit which they use for quick turnaround rooms where they have malodour caused by students eating , smoking in rooms, plug-in units are also used in student rooms again for background control of living style odours.
  • Manchester – purchased the Aura unit and a Airteck5000p. The Aura unit was installed in a corridor directly opposite toilets where they had a particular difficulty: the corridor leads to management offices so the pungent odour migrated into the main reception area.
  • Oxford Brookes – purchased the AirTeck 10000pd for the main gymnasium. The gym is particularly busy with around 30 rowing machines – Brookes now ozonates the gym overnight to remove malodour and freshen the air space for the following day.
  • Royal Holloway – had a major mould issue in a five bedroomed student house.  GTG deployed the AirTeck 1664 ozone shock system to remove the mould from five rooms with major mould issues on walls.
  • Falmouth – purchased a number of plug-in units used for odour control in specific student rooms.
  • Optivo Welkin – the site has a 5000p unit currently on trial for use in old accommodation with mould issues.

From Manchester Emily Taylor, Deputy Head of Facilities Management, commented: “The Aura unit really helped us manage the smell from two heavily used toilets in an awkward area: where nothing else we tried eliminated the nasty smells.  Everyone has commented on the genius system.”

While David Thurston, founder and head of Greenteck Global added: “Following on from participating at the CUBO summer conference last July, we have had a fantastic response from a number of universities.  Initial site trials have now concluded with our ozone units being deployed permanently.

“Ozone now plays a major part in day-to-day housekeeping regimes and we have proved that ozone is a far more affective on all malodour issues from student life-style to mould and wash room related odours.

“We are extremely pleased with the response so far and continue to get fresh enquiries from Universities battling with the extract same issues. We continue to support the university sector with our products and services and welcome fresh enquiries to trial our systems.”

Guest Blog, Bernard Daymon: Bacteria at universities – but not as you know it…

There are a number of reasons why it’s vital to effectively clean up wastewater in universities. Today’s university campuses are the size of small towns, with student accommodation facilities, lecture theatres, libraries, bars and food outlets all on-site and many producing large quantities of wastewater. All of this wastewater poses its own challenges, especially where fats, oils and grease (FOG) are produced. These can become trapped and start to decompose, creating foul odours, which are unpleasant for all.

Aside from the unpleasant odours, wastewater also has a direct financial impact. At times when universities are experiencing an increase in cuts, the last thing facilities managers want to face is fines for illegal wastewater management under the Water Industry Act 1991. Companies pay an annual fee to hold a license in order to discharge effluent but there are strict limits on the amount that can be discharged. Extra charges are incurred where there are higher levels of contaminants in the effluent, which facilities teams will be keen to avoid.

However, the challenges faced on campuses make this easier said than done. Universities often have peak spikes in activity, such as on open days when thousands can attend, or during fresher’s week, where thousands of students will descend upon all the campus bars and food outlets every night for a week. This means that it’s hard to effectively keep up wastewater management at peak times, under intense pressure. It’s therefore important that wastewater management systems can work flexibly and quickly.

Bacteria are normally something that comes to mind when you think about cleaning up waste. However, new active bacteria solutions such as NCH Europe’s FreeFlow and BioAmp systems can clean up contaminants in wastewater. These bacteria are active from the moment they enter the system, meaning that they are instantly effective and perfect for times of high demand.

NCH Europe offers different types of bacteria systems, which are ideal for different demands. FreeFlow 50 is a dosing mechanism for the FreeFlow liquid, which is a biological solution containing ten strains of food safe bacillus bacteria that safely clear organic waste. The automatic dosing feature not only makes this more cost effective, it avoids human error, minimises the risk of an incorrect dosage and subsequently avoids fines. FreeFlow 100 is the premium solution, which is much stronger. It contains liquid nutrient and biological solutions, which boost the growth and performance of bacteria for a more effective treatment, particularly when cutting through FOGs and organic waste.

If there’s one thing that student kitchens and university wastewater systems have in common, it’s that they are both breeding grounds for bacteria. However, NCH Europe’s bacteria will help rather than harm. It’s vital that universities have effective systems in place to deal with wastewater, especially at peak times, to avoid costly fines and damage to their reputation because of unpleasant odours. Who knew that bacteria could be so helpful?

 

 

Bernard Daymon is the CEO and president of the global water, energy and maintenance solutions provider, NCH Europe. Having joined the company in 2013, Daymon has over 20 years of international experience in both consumer and business-to-business environments. His previous roles include CEO of household cleaning brand, Jeyes and CFO of home and personal care for Unilever.