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Ozone in the Laundry Industry Today Ozone has been used in various applications in Europe

Ozone in the Laundry Industry Today

Ozone has been used in various applications in Europe for over a century and in the United States for over thirty years. Within the last decade, ozone has been applied in the laundry industry through advances in technology and safety. Ozone technology has been recognized by major commercial washer manufacturers and has accommodated their washers to accept ozone without damaging their product, making the installation processes seamless.

Within the last few years, ozone has become overwhelmingly popular in the laundry industry. Major OPL manufacturers are now endorsing and building ozone equipment directly onto their

washers at factory.

meaning there hasn’t been any new major advances (besides pretty lights and interfaces) in the industry in several years. Selling ozone systems as an upgrade package will create new and exciting profit centers for the manufacturer and dealer. Last but not least, the results of using

ozone in a wash cycle are very beneficial to the customer.

They are doing this for several reasons; the OPL market has turned “flat”,

Ozone is the earth’s strongest natural oxidizer; it is 150% stronger and 3000x faster acting than chlorine-bleach. Ozone also works best in cold environments and leaves no harmful by-products behind. The most recognized benefits of using ozone in a laundry application are:

Energy reduction

Reduce hot water by 85%

Reduce natural gas by 55%

Reduce water consumption by 20%

Reduce electricity by 5%

Cut chemical use by 10% or more

Extended linen life by 20% or more

Better Efficiency in the facility

Kill bacteria, viruses and superbugs better than hot water

1. Energy Reduction Because ozone works best in cold environments, the need for hot water is reduced by 85% and in some cases eliminated. For example; one sixty-pound washer completing eight loads per day could save over 535,820 therms per year! Like hot water, ozone actives chemicals and helps to oxidize soils, making them easier to remove from wash water. Ozone has an additional benefit of relaxing linen fibers. This will help remove soils from the linen and extract more water on the last spin cycle, shortening dry times.

Dry times are shortened for two reasons. First, the reduction in alkaline based chemicals prevents the buildup of calcium deposits in the linen. Calcium deposits make the linen feel tough and also hold moisture in the fibers. Reducing the chemical will let the linen dry faster and feel softer. Secondly, by opening up linen fibers the washer is able to

extract more water in the last spin cycle.

reduction of tumbler/dryer energy would be no less than 20%, that’s over 135,225 therms per year with a 150,000 btu/hr machine.

By using ozone properly in the wash cycle, the

20%, that’s over 135,225 therms per year with a 150,000 btu/hr machine. By using ozone properly
Cutting natural gas costs and reducing carbon footprints is just the start. Most washers have

Cutting natural gas costs and reducing carbon footprints is just the start. Most washers have factory programmed wash cycles for the different types of linen being washed. It is not uncommon for a facility to use nine or more different cycles. With this type of programmable washer it is relatively easy to reprogram the wash cycles to the ozone wash cycle program. In most cases the chemical representative will complete the reprogramming of the washer.

By reprogramming the wash cycles the facility will gain many benefits, including water reduction, electrical savings and better efficiency. A typical white towel wash program can be changed as follows.

a. Remove flush step

b. Combine detergent (suds) and bleach steps

c. Add intermediate extract after first rinse

d. Reduce one high fill rinse to low fill

One sixty-pound washer that completes eight loads per day can save over 65,000 gallons of hot water per year. That is enough to fill an average hotel swimming pool three times! The electrical savings and better efficiency in the facility follow the same principle, less run time on the washer equates to electrical and labor savings.

2. Chemistry in the wash cycle Saying that the chemical empire created by the Ecolabs and P&Gs of the world is complex is an understatement. The best advice The Ozone Company could provide to their ozone equipment dealer is, befriend the chemical provider. They can be your best friend or your worst enemy. The chemical provider in your area could help your organization explode or squash everything you are trying to accomplish with ozone.

Chemical reps are fishing from the same pond and are into hotels, resorts, hospitals,

nursing homes, etc. on a daily basis.

relationship with the chemical rep, there is no reason why your ozone laundry equipment

shouldn’t be hanging on the wall of every facility in your area.

If you are able to achieve a positive working

The chemistry of an ozone wash can become very complex. After all, this is a results based business. Work very closely with the chemical rep to test water quality, alkalinity, titration values and pH levels. If there is poor water quality (abundance of iron, manganese, sulfates, etc.), chances are you will have some challenges providing good results. Insist on having a quality water softener installed on the hot and cold water lines prior to the washer, this should help eliminate most problems from the start.

Ozone provides large amounts of oxygen in the wash water enhancing chemical effectiveness and reducing the required amount. Ozone and oxygen work together to relax fibers, oxidize compounds and sanitize. It has also been found that lessening harsh, high pH chemicals has become a common practice. High pH chemicals are traditionally used for fats, oils and greases (FOG) which breaks molecular bonds so it can be easily removed from the wash water.

used for fats, oils and greases (FOG) which breaks molecular bonds so it can be easily
Bleach is an oxidizer and can be reduced from 10% - 50% depending on the

Bleach is an oxidizer and can be reduced from 10% - 50% depending on the customers current setup. Using too much bleach can damage and destroy linens. By reducing the amount of bleach used, extending the linen life by 30% or more is not uncommon. Since ozone is a strong oxidizer also, it helps to prevent graying in the linen, which is the re- deposition of soil.

Souring chemicals (acids) reduce the pH levels in the wash water. Like other alkaline based products, sour will make the linen feel rough. Softener is then used to combat this result and has the linen feel soft again. Reducing the amount of sour will reduce the amount of softener used, and in some cases eliminated (dairy farms and jails).

3. Ozone Manufacturers

There are several types of ozone systems and ozone manufacturers in the On-Premises Laundry (OPL) market. Some companies include:

Clear Water Tech San Luis Obispo, CA

DEL Ozone San Luis Obispo, CA

ArtiClean Kentucky

Nutek Florida

Ozone Water Technologies South Carolina

Aquawing (AWOIS) New England

Here is some history behind these manufacturers. DEL ozone is the oldest manufacturer of commercial ozone system in the USA, started in the early 70s. They specialize in pool and spa applications (hold 80% of the market share for spas). Their equipment is good and reliable but has not changed design to enhance the full features and benefits ozone. Using basic pneumatics and electronics to produce ozone, their equipment is built fairly inexpensive. They have over 1 million products sold over the years, more than all other ozone manufacturers combined. www.delozone.com

Clear Water Tech (CWT) spun off of DEL in 1986. Cameron Tapp is the founder and president of the company. CWTs approach to ozone manufacturing is more advanced in electronic controlled Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) and pneumatics. Most of their products are quality, reliable ozone systems. They have hundreds of thousands of systems sold, many in the pool and food industries. CWT has over 3,000 ozone laundry installations worldwide. One of their main customers is JLA in England, who has sold over 2,000 ozone laundry systems over a ten year span through an aggressive rental program. www.cwtozone.com

ArtiClean was started by an On-Premises Laundry (OPL) dealer called REM. REMs CEO is Mark Moore, they have been a Unimac dealer for many years. Using their Unimac dealer connections, they have established worldwide dealer network selling their ozone laundry product. Their theory of ozone injection into the washer is a bit clumsy and obnoxious. Their system is what the industry calls a charged ozone system. See

the washer is a bit clumsy and obnoxious. Their system is what the industry calls a
the ozone laundry comparison sheet (R&D sheets) for information on this type of system. www.articlean.com

the ozone laundry comparison sheet (R&D sheets) for information on this type of system. www.articlean.com

There always has to be a cheap under-cutting competitor in any industry. In the ozone laundry world, that is Nutek. Unfortunately there is nothing good to say about their systems. Their product does more damage to the industry than it does good. See passive injection systemsin the ozone laundry comparison for details on this system. Nutek is based out of Florida and will install a system anywhere in the world, cheaper than anyone else, and then disappear on the customer. Their systems cost about $500 to build; they do not hold any certifications nor have documented proof of their claims. That is all that can be said about Nutek. www.ozonelaundry.com

Ozone Water Technologies (OWT) is owned by Jim Gross. OWT imports their product from a manufacturer in China. The LaundrOzone line is very poor quality and an inexpensive product. Their market share has dropped significantly since 2009. www.ozonewatertech.com

Daniels Equipment is owned by Ralph Daniels based out of New England. They have a similar approach to the industry as REM (ArtiClean). They are a Unimac dealer and have many connections around the globe. They buy their systems from Clear Water Tech who in turn private labels the product called Aquawing (AWOIS). The Aquawing product is a good product and holds a patent on their closed loop injection system. Meaning they are able to monitor the ozone levels inside of the washer and automatically adjust the ozone levels as needed. www.awois.com

4. On-Premisis Laundry (OPL) Manufacturers

There are several OPL manufacturers in the world. Here are a some to research:

Alliance Laundry Systems www.comlaundry.com

o

The largest OPL manufacturer in the world

o

Location: Ripon, WI

Milnor www.milnor.com

o

Just behind Alliance Laundry in sales

o

Location: Louisiana

Whirlpool/Maytag www.maytagcommerciallaundry.com

o

Small market share

o

Location: St. Joseph, MI

Continental-Girbau www.continentalgirbau.com

o

Import product from Spain, started by former Alliance Laundry employees

o

Location: Oshkosh, WI

B & C Technologies www.bmctechnologies.com

o Started and owned by former owner and engineer of Unimac (sold to Raytheon who sold to Alliance Laundry)

o Started and owned by former owner and engineer of Unimac (sold to Raytheon who sold
o Built in Thailand  Lavatec – www.lavatec.com o Larger industrial products o Specialize in

o Built in Thailand

Lavatec www.lavatec.com

o

Larger industrial products

o

Specialize in tunnel washers

Washex www.washex.com

Braun www.babraun.com

Dexter www.dexter.com

o

Very old company (over 100 years)

o

Location: Fairfield, IA

www.babraun.com  Dexter – www.dexter.com o Very old company (over 100 years) o Location: Fairfield, IA