Buses, Fixed Guideway vehicles and Railcars: Transit vehicles of the dubious task of trying to keep filters clean through constantly changing environments. It's a near impossible task and inenvitably the filters do not get replaced as often as they should. Add to this all of the colds, flu and bacteria that are introduced to the vehicle and we have a volatile environment. Ionization technology can help mitigate the issue. Due to the mobile nature of transit vehicles, ionization air cleaning offers some great advantages as it seeks out problems where they exist rather than treating only at the source.
ION LEVELS: Ion counts can be measured and they are at the highest levels at high altitude and in places where energy is released (i.e. ocean shore, waterfalls, rain, lighting). Levels below 800 ions/cm3 are considered low air quality. The levels in large cities are typically 300-500 and the levels inside structures are commonly below 100 ions/cm3.
The Heart of the Science: The Hydroxyl HO molecule is a result of a reaction where negative and postitve ion clusters meet. This is precisely how the nature cleans the atmosphere. The ion clusters are attracted to airborne particles such bacteria, mold, viruses, pollen and other airborne particles. The hydroxyl inactivates the microbe and the continued agglomeration by ions increases the size of the particles allowing filtration to work. Since the ions are delivered in the airstream, this technology acts like a cloud that fills a given space. They search for, surround, and inactivate microbes helping to protect against transmission from person to person.
Conrad Habicht and Albert Einstein were the first to investigate the advantages of ionized air. They built a “potential multiplicator” that could quantify the amount of electrical charges in the air, and concluded that positive and negative ions influenced air quality. The higher the number of ionized oxygen particles, the more the air would represent qualities of pure mountain air, known for treating lung/breathing illnesses.
Scientifically what occurs in nature at altitude is a process where charged air particles surround viruses, mold, and bacteria. The interaction forms hydroxyls, which open the protein membranes of microbrials, destroying reproductive capacity or the ability to infect. The inactive pathogens are weighed down and fall to the floor where they can be swept out.
In nature ions are released into the air where there is a release of energy; waterfalls, rain, ocean shorelines, and lighting. In city environments, pollution and development limit natural ion counts to levels consistent with poor air quality. Controlling higher ion levels helps to increase IAQ including on transit vehicles.