The Superiority of Plasma Technology for Touch Point Cleaning

June 11, 2022

TED 0422001

OXONOX Paper on Why the Total Performance and Extreme Kill of Plasma Technology is Superior for A Wide Range of Applications to Older Methods of Sterilisation. 

Co Authored by Prof. Jim Frame and Dr Tom Frame


All products commercially marketed professing to offer sterilisation of surfaces and/or air will claim that they are the best with well used terminology such as up to 99.9% kill of microbiological organisms including bacteria and pathogenic viruses. 

There is little focus on the true risk of leaving 0.1% or more living microorganisms, out of millions or trillions that may be in environment, or the limitations of use and technology for some applications. 

The aim of this paper is to highlight the evidence behind plasma technology, discuss why extreme kill levels of up to 99.99% (Log4) to 99.999% (Log5) typically achieved from OXONOX plasma technology are useful in a post pandemic (this is still a matter of debate), but increasingly very germophobic or at least germ aware society, and how using plasma eliminates many of the real-life limitations of all other technologies.   

Comparisons and Evidence     

It may be worthwhile to understand what plasma, or more technically cold plasma is in very broad terms and refer readers who require a more in-depth understanding to many published papers on this subject. We are of the opinion that this paper Cold Plasma, a New Hope in the Field of Virus Inactivation, Filipić et al. is informative and succinct, but a search of the internet will furnish many helpful results. 

Briefly, plasma is the 4th state of matter and in simple terms is generated by applying energy and magnetic forces to air and the subsequent plasma gas has the effect of eradicating microorganisms to a level of kill known as extreme. 

Plasma is an 'invisible super-gas’ that is produced when natural molecules of atmospheric gases like nitrogen, oxygen and water vapour are subjected to an electrical arc in a controlled environment. The already highly moving gas molecules rapidly speed up and are disrupted with the effect that electrons are split off their constituent atoms and the particles produced are then further refined within the ModuNOx-D system into the plasma required for the intended use of OXONOX, killing all viruses, bacteria, fungi and biofilms to extremely high levels but in a very safe, convenient and affordable way. 

We know that other sterilisation products kill up to 99.9%. In reality that leaves 1000 living microbes per million, more than enough to be an issue in some cases. 

Independent testing with a global list of participants including the world renowned University of Surrey, which can be found at verified that plasma generated by the patented ModuNOx-D generator, the driving force behind all OXONOX products, achieved kills up to 99.9999% (Log 6). 

Given the variance in real life applications OXONOX is very confident to claim that its products will typically kill at least up to 99.99% (Log 4 is termed as 100 microorganisms remaining from a million, but often OXONOX will consistently achieve 99.999% (Log 5 is termed as down to 10 individual microorganisms per million remaining may be achieved). 

Plasma Technology for Touch Point Cleaning

Why is a Higher Log Kill More Beneficial? 

Simply the less microorganisms you start with the longer the practical sterilisation effect will be. Given microorganism doubling time, from as little as 20 minutes to hours, if you start with 10 rather than 10,000 it will take much longer to get to what could be dangerous levels of pathogenic bacteria and viruses. 

An extreme kill of around Log 4 to Log 5 will also reduce the risk of bugs developing a resistance, that may occur with less powerful methods.   

What are the Limitations of Manual Methods with Chemicals? 

Apart from the technical limitations as described in kill levels that some alternatives may have, there are many practical limitations with the use of chemicals, mechanical devices spraying or fogging chemicals or adaptation of UV technology into commercial applications. 

Even a high kill rate may not be a solution if it is not practical for an application. 

In general, all manual sterilisation with operatives has an element of ‘hit and miss’, what may be thorough to one operative may not be thorough to another and requires constant control. Also, manual sterilisation deals with what you can see, rather than what you cannot see. A clean looking area may not be sterilised effectively.

Chemical cleaning through to sterilisation can be negated by reinfection of a surface at any time after the cleaning has taken place which may be hours to next clean. 

Chemicals have to stored and handled in a safe manner and operatives have to be supplied with appropriate consumables. How many times do you observe that cloths may be dirty and merely spreading contamination around? 

Chemicals may not penetrate all areas, back and front, seen and unseen and even in straightforward flat surfaces coverage may not be 100% at all times. 

Chemicals may cause damage to materials and fixtures and fittings, as we are aware when we overspray domestic bleach onto clothes but on a much larger scale if a transport carriage was damaged by discolouring of seats etc. 

It generally is not possible to treat with chemicals when humans are around.  

Chemicals will not treat the air. 

What are Limitations of Automatic or Robotic Systems using Chemicals or UV Light? 

Mechanical devices such as electrostatic sprays and fogging require trained operatives and often have all the drawbacks of chemicals and are only suitable for certain applications, with areas only being able to be occupied after a set period, potentially nor suitable for sterilisation of a transport carriage mid-schedule, as an example. 

UV Light Radiation is a non-chemical method of sterilisation that can be done automatically or by use of robots with the purpose of having a consistent, human-free application and being cost-effective. 

However, there are certain physical, practical and safety considerations that may limit the applications and the overall usefulness of UV Light solutions. Many of these are simply physical properties of using light.

  • UV light may have to reflected to ‘shine’ off surfaces like aluminium or polished steel, which have to be spotlessly clean, into awkward angles to possibly work.
  • As a light, there may be shadowing, areas that the light will not reach.
  • UV light will only have a biocidal effect if it can reach the surface, the back of surfaces like handrails will not be sterilised.

UV light solutions use bulbs that have a life expectancy and are subject to dust and dirt gathering on the surface reducing the effect of the process. Maintenance and running costs may be high to maintain day 1 performance from a UV solution. 

UV light, in particular UVC, with sufficient power to kill to extreme levels has to be used with caution around humans and usage may be limited to when high-risk surfaces such as escalators or lifts are shut down. Often sensors are used to safeguard against human entry that adds another layer thing to manage from a maintenance point of view. 

Why Total Solution of Plasma Technology from OXONOX is Superior for a Wide Range of Applications. 

It is obvious that Plasma technology provides an extreme kill more powerful, or as powerful as other technologies, but in a manner that makes it very suitable for many more applications. 

You could say that plasma has all of the desirable attributes of other technologies but without the limitations and drawbacks, is ‘fit and forget’, and cost-effective. 

  • Extreme kill rates from 99.99% to 99.999%
  • OXONOX Plasma solutions are a gas so cover 100% of a target surface or area, back and front, under and over. 
  • OXONOX Plasma solutions works on air, surfaces and also has a deodorising effect, a 3 in 1 solution like no other. 
  • Emissions are simply super-cleansed oxygen so OXONOX can be used every minute of every day with humans occupying areas. 
  • OXONOX units are compact and can be fitted under escalators or above lift compartments.
  • OXONOX units have no moving parts and only require a yearly filter change (included in kit). 
  • OXONOX units only operate for seconds per hour with expected running costs per year <£10. 
  •  The OXONOX cost of continual sterilisation every minute of every day to higher levels that have ever been possible before, is around £3 per day per escalator or confined area, such a lift compartment. 
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