The Mistery of the Ultrasonic Fog

 How to reduce water consumption and yet maintain, or even increase, effectiveness during decontamination showers (yet maintain, or even increase, the effectiveness of a decontamination shower ) is a challenge that has recently taken a significant step forward.

A new ultra-effective decontamination shower system has just been developed by one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of components for cleanrooms and high containment facilities for use in the chemical, biotech and pharmaceutical industries.

PBSC has developed an innovative ultrasonic fogging system based upon the company’s proven de-contamination shower, which, although highly-effective, uses a lot of water. By creating a fogging system in conjunction with a soft spray, PBSC has managed to significantly reduce water consumption whilst maintaining effective levels of decontamination. This has significant economic implications for end-users in terms of cost, and benefits for the environment in general.

Decontamination fluids, cleansing liquids and sterilization agents can be injected at controlled ratios within the fogging device to enable the fog to quickly saturate the operative’s air-suit. The water then forms droplets and rolls off to be collected for contained disposal. The chemicals used can also include wetting agents, surfactants and sanitizers, but this will depend upon the process and the facility within which the fogging shower is installed. However, the end result is that there will always be maximum contact of water/chemical with minimum volume/quantity of water to drain.

With the fogging performing 90%+ of the decontamination process, the amount of contaminated water collected for controlled disposal is kept to an absolute minimum. For example, water usage in a conventional pressure spray is c.250 litres per minute; however, with a soft spray this can be reduced to c.40 litres per minute, plus 2 litres per minute for the misting process. If a typical decontamination cycle takes 3 minutes, 750 litres of water are conventionally used. This reduces to a mere 63 litres if one assumes 3 litres for a 90-second mist (@ 2 l/min) plus 60 litres for a 90-second soft spray (@ 60 l/min).

With detergent and sanitizer being applied through the mist spray the volume of chemical needed used will also be reduced dramatically. The cycle times and combinations will obviously change depending upon application or decontamination process, but the reductions in water, wastewater and chemical will be significantly reduced.

This, in turn, reduces the cost of the wastewater disposal. The fogging process is then followed with cold or hot water soft sprays from multiple nozzles injected with cleaning agents or sanitizers as required. This enables the decontamination to be completed in crease areas and to rinse the suit off. In fact, the volumes of water are so low that the cost of disposal of contaminated wash-water is significantly reduced.

The PBSC ultra-fogging de-contamination shower provides efficient decontamination for the operator and to the internal surfaces of the shower.

All are constructed to a modular design using standard PBSC components, and can be tailored to a client’s specific requirements. PBSC can provide units that utilise existing facilities or, alternatively, a ‘stand alone’ unit complete with its own system, which can be placed in any convenient location. The direct benefits are tangible, but the intricacies of how this ingenious fogging system actually works can only be explained fully by calling PBSC.


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