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Bi-polar ionization vs. photocatalytic oxidation (PCO)

What is the difference between bi-polar ionization (cold plasma) and photocatalytic oxidation (PCO)?

Air Oasis employs two types of ionization: an advanced form of photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) and, secondly, bi-polar ionization -- also known as cold plasma. These two types of ionization are found in each of our products, either alone or in tandem. Both address common concerns related to viruses, bacteria, and mold -- in the air and on surfaces. Our PCO, known as AHCPO®, is effective at tackling unwanted odors, whereas Bi-polar® ionization is helpful to those concerned with airborne particulate matter such as allergens, dust, or mold spores.

Photocatalytic oxidation (PCO), as the name suggests, employs ultraviolet light photons and a catalyst: a proprietary mixture of various catalytic particles adhered to a target surface. As photons from the UV light shine on the catalyst, a reaction occurs creating ions that decontaminate air and surfaces. These ions are created when H20 vapor is rearranged by the catalytic reaction into other ions.

Basic PCO isn't very effective; it only creates short-lived hydroxyl ions that don't last long enough to decontaminate your living space. An advanced PCO, like our AHCPO® (Advanced Hydrated PCO) uses specific catalytic elements to produce a variety of safe, long-lasting ions that travel farther and deactivate contaminants both in the air and on surfaces.

Click here to see an HVAC whole-house ionic air purification solution using the Air Oasis proprietary AHCPO® ionization technology -- our version of advanced PCO ionization.

Bi-polar® ionization is sometimes referred to as cold plasma ionization. It’s a simple technology using two charge poles -- one positively and one negatively charged -- to literally split H20 water vapor into positively charged hydrogen ions and negatively charged oxygen ions. Due to the imbalanced charge effect, these ions are drawn back together to reform as H20 molecules, their natural state. As this occurs, airborne particles, including dust, pet dander, allergens, mold spores, and even airborne droplets containing viruses, will be drawn together, become too heavy to float and drop from the air. Still, the primary deactivation of these named contaminants is due to a molecular decomposition caused by the reactions of positive hydrogen and negative oxygen ions interacting with them. Click here to see an HVAC whole-house ionic air purifier that uses bi-polar ionization.

Regarding both advanced PCO and bi-polar ionization, the advantage of ionization over filtration is that a filter can only trap particulate matter that it draws in. Therefore, it has little impact on contamination found on surfaces like tables and countertops. Ionization, on the other hand, cleans both air and surfaces. Click here to see a countertop air purifier that utilizes both AHPCO and bi-polar ionization.