As a result of the joint working between teams of expertsfrom the Iberia Ashland Chemical, S.A. company and the INASMET-TecnaliaTechnological Centre, a solution has been found to prevent the seriousdisease caused by the bacteria known as “Legionella” and other similardisorders.
This achievement has meant a great advance for humanhealth. It is based on the biocidal and bacteriostatic effect of theSONOXIDEฎ system, used in refrigeration towers of factory buildings andinstallations that are prone to be the focus for the proliferation ofLegionnaires' disease.
In order to validate the system, the teamof INASMET-Tecnalia experts designed a refrigeration tower simulationwithin a biologically-isolated laboratory (P2 level). A wide range oftrials were carried out in this isolated and secure system in order todetermine the efficacy thereof.
Regarding the technologydeveloped, it consists of a system based on low-intensity,high-frequency ultrasounds which, together with the introduction ofmicro-bubbles of air, produce an effect of photo-sonoluminiscence. Theconcentration of ultrasounds by constructive interference generates apressure front that produces a decompression of the gases dissolved inthe water. This wave front produces a luminous plasma around thebubbles, as well as high pressure and temperatures.
Thesepressures and temperatures have two effects: on the one hand, theyeliminate the circulating bacteria and, on the other, they generate anoxidative stress that is transmitted throughout the water refrigerationsystem. This stress, together with the continuous loss of circulatingbacteria throughout the system, reduces the formation of biofilm evenat extremely low levels – and maintains this to such an extent that thefixing of “legionella” bacteria or any other micro-organisms needingbiofilm in order to grow in the system, is impeded.
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