The Science

Hypochlorous acid is one of the most effective known biocides. This weak acid with the chemical name HClO or HOCl is the same chemical produced by the human immune system to kill invasive organisms and fight infection.

It’s a biocide so safe for humans and animals that we already have it in our bodies.

Before we explain the science, see this video clip of a white blood cell chasing down and engulfing invading bacteria. It shows what happens when our healthy immune systems tackle an unwanted microorganism. As you can see, the bacteria don’t stand a chance.

So how does it work? In a nutshell, these white blood cells (neutrophils) in the human immune system produce hypochlorous acid. This weak acid, which occurs naturally in the human body, kills invasive organisms through the myeloperoxidase-mediated peroxidation of chloride ions.

Aqualution® technology mimics the human immune system by producing hypochlorous acid (HOCl) to combat viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms. We produce HOCl through an electro-dialysis (ED) process, using salt and water.

There are other companies making HOCl generators and packaged hypochlorous acid.

However, Aqualution® technology is ground-breaking for three reasons:

  1. Our products are genuinely stabilised. They contain no artificial stabilisers, and are not managed decay products. This is due to the unique design of our electrochemical cell.
  2. Our cell design means our generator units do not need prolonged maintenance downtime.
  3. We can generate a high purity hypochlorous acid solution over a wide pH range. This is because our technology disrupts the conventional chlorine chemistry equilibrium where the chlorine species present is dependent on the pH of the solution and is a mixture of chlorine, hypochlorous acid and sodium hypochlorite.

Aqualution Limited are the first company to genuinely stabilise hypochlorous acid solutions produced using electrochemical activation (ECA) technology.

How the human immune system works

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If the immune system detects an invasive organism – for example, bacteria entering the body through broken skin…

human immune system diagram 2…the immune system sends neutrophils out from the blood stream to capture the bacteria.

human immune system diagram 3Once the neutrophils have caught the bacteria, they secrete an enzyme, NADPH oxidase, which decays to produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The hydrogen peroxide reacts with sodium chloride (salt) to produce hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and sodium hydroxide. The hypochlorous acid then oxidises the cell wall of the bacteria and kills it.

Hypochlorous acid is one of the most efficient biocides known, and can be up to 300 times more effective than bleach – sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl).

Read on to find out more about Aqualution technology.

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