This is the first part of a three-part article on electrolyzed water.

As the Director of Sustainability and Environmental Services at one of the United States’ largest facility services companies, New York-based ABM Janitorial Services, Alan France is responsible for developing green cleaning policies, procedures and tools for more than 235 million square feet of LEED-certified and LEED-registered commercial space.

From his office in Dallas, France is constantly on the lookout for industry innovations — products and processes that not only save ABM time and money, but also are proven to help customers shrink their carbon footprints. But, when France was introduced to a machine that claimed to do all of the above simply by turning ordinary tap water and salt into highly effective cleaning solutions, he was skeptical. ABM had tried “electrolyzed water” before, with dismal results. He didn’t want to risk losing a contract if the technology didn’t work.

“The electrolyzed water systems were an old technology that resurfaced in the past few years,” says France. “The old technology lasted 30 to 45 seconds before it stopped working. It was extremely expensive, and the [bottles] tended to walk off site. It kind of fizzled and just didn’t work.”

Still, France decided to give the new on-site generator a try. The machine, an oS3 from Orbio Technologies, Minneapolis, a subsidiary of Tennant Company, was placed at several test sites where France and ABM cleaning managers could monitor its effectiveness in real time. The team was impressed with the results, says France.

“In that process we were able to see the potential and the improvement to the point where we could say, ‘This is a viable technology,’” he says. “What changed was that the machine could create a controlled cleaning solution. We needed something that had soil load capability and could handle a lot of jobs. We use it in place of glass cleaner, floor cleaner, spot cleaning — for the everyday, daily cleaning tasks.”

next page of this article:
Activated Water And On-site Chemical Generation