One area perhaps overlooked in many considerations of the environmental impact of industrial processes is cleaning. The main concern with commercial and industrial cleaning is the chemicals that are used, including chemically active solvents and acid-based formulations that may not have been tested for safety.
Additionally, these chemicals, once released into the environment, may take an extensive period of time to break down into harmless by-products, persisting in the environment and entering the food chain if ingested by aquatic or other animal life.
A secondary, but still important concern is the amount of water used for cleaning activities. Especially when using more corrosive cleaning chemicals, a significant amount of water needs to be used to ensure these chemicals are washed away and do not accumulate in the immediate environment.
The ideal solution for commercial and industrial cleaning, then, would be a cleaning technology that uses no chemicals at all, eliminating the risk of environmental damage by completely removing any potentially problematic ingredients, while also reducing the overall water required to ensure a sufficient clean.
Industrial and commercial maintenance equipment supplier Tennant has developed just such a technology.
Tennant's patented ec-H20 technology electrically converts water into a superior cleaning solution which the company states:
- cleans better
- saves money
- improves safety; and
- reduces environmental impact compared to traditional cleaning chemicals and methods.
As to water usage, Tennant states that ec-H20 uses up to 70% less water than traditional cleaning methods, both water going in, and wastewater going out.
Ec-H20 is safer than traditional detergents as it can improve floor traction, with NFSI certifying the technology as capable of reducing slip and fall accidents by up to 90%.
Further improving safety for food manufacturers, NSF certifies that the technology is safe to use even in food and beverage handling environments.
Overall, then, ec-H20 provides a cleaner and more efficient alternative to traditional cleaning chemicals that not only reduces costs, but also improves site safety.
Finally, as for the overall environmental benefits of using the technology, in an independent third party study EcoForm estimated that using ec-H20 can reduce the impact of cleaning operations on the environment by up to 98%.