Chlorine dioxide application system is linchpin of bioprotection technology
In today’s unpredictable environment, a cultural push to decrease antibiotic use, a decrease in biodiversity, an increase in biodensity and an increase in microbiological challenges all signal an amplified need to proactively address pathogens and implement comprehensive biosecurity systems.
That’s where BioWALL, the Slingerlands, New York-based bioprotection technology company, comes in. Its systems play an important role in addressing these important issues.
“BioWALL’s mission is to change the way people and industries view pathogen, microbiological contamination and outbreak control,” said Adam Oesterle, vice president of business development for the company. “There needs to be a shift from reactive response to proactive protection. Through preparedness and prevention, business and food chain supply risk can be significantly minimized, while increasing protections for operations and consumers.”
John Mason, chief science officer of both BioWALL and The Sabre Companies (BioWALL’s parent company), notes BioWALL’s pure chlorine dioxide effectively prevents, protects and treats fluid and all surfaces. It is a water- soluble gas, so it can be applied via gas or fluid application, and it effectively treats small or large spaces, process components, airflows, wash fluids, biomass, sulfides and a range of other materials.
According to the company’s brochure, BioWALL deploys the only EPA-registered, non-carcinogenic and environmentally friendly technology to provide patented preparation/ prevention and response/remediation solutions to food, agribusiness, facilities, events, logistics, governments, first responders and public/private entities to mitigate the risks and reduce the economic cost of both naturally occurring and man-made biological and chemical contamination threats.
Its Replenish systems enable the precise application of chlorine dioxide for smaller volume and continual applications. Historically, smaller applications have been challenging for chlorine dioxide, given the variability, maintenance and inaccurate dosing associated with traditional small generation systems, according to BioWALL. Replenish overcomes these challenges and opens up various new markets for the chemistry.
For example, it now has applications, which address a wide range of cross-industry needs, from advanced biosecurity to food production processing applications.
A little history
Historically, BioWALL has addressed major events, ranging from the anthrax response to mold remediation after Hurricane Katrina. However, the business was structured around singular event response.
“With our track record, regulatory relationships and proven technology, we were often the first phone call to address these major contamination events,” Oesterle said. “As a result, we were contacted to assist in addressing the high pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in the Midwest during the summer of 2015.”
Within two weeks, it mobilized resources to aid in disinfecting affected egg production facilities, and its treatment enabled some of the largest egg-laying barns in the U.S. to return to production.
“With this successful experience, coupled with our developed relationships with USDA and leaders within the industry, we saw huge potential to structure a business, which not only addresses events but also addresses ongoing contamination issues within the food production industry as a whole,” Oesterle said.
Since its inception, BioWALL and its affiliated Sabre companies has provided chlorine dioxide treatment for more than 10 billion gallons of fluid in oilfield applications, disinfection of water for large municipalities, treatment of various sensitive structures and locations for anthrax and other weaponized agents.
It’s also provided remediation of hundreds of structures for dangerous environmental conditions, including mold and the extensive outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza.
In the food plant
BioWALL specializes in coming into a food plant after a serious outbreak and making sure the entire place is fumigated. Due to confidentiality agreements, Oesterle said he can’t reveal the process, but he does explain that it does not need to treat an entire structure.
“We can isolate specific affected areas of a plant or facility and apply sterilization treatment of pathogens and contaminants,” he said.
What he can share is that BioWALL utilizes environmentally friendly “green” technologies with no residual toxicity or carcinogenic byproducts. At the core of the BioWALL services solution is the company’s patented DiKlor chlorine dioxide generation, methods and treatment processes.
In a paper titled “Food Safety: Protection from Farm to Table,” the company dissects how important its role is concerning the growing range of risks happening globally.
The report notes that BioWALL is uniquely positioned to proactively address a broad range of challenges across the food industry supply chain, including: improving biosecurity and mitigating cross-contamination at facilities; disinfecting barns between crops and repopulations; treating grain, water, waste and byproducts; sterilizing eggs and protein during production and processing to kill contaminants such as E. coli and salmonella; and preventing contamination at packing and distribution centers.
Unlike the prevalent industry practices that use standard chlorine dioxide or similar liquid-based sanitation methods (which are limited in penetration, coverage and travel), BioWALL deploys gas-based solutions.
“Gas inherently goes everywhere. It penetrates everything, and there is not a spot that is left untouched, including all the places that are otherwise hard to get to, such as air ducts or underneath the cutting boards,” Oesterle said. “The preferred fumigation practice is to do an entire structure or a major part of it all at once. At the same time, we can isolate specific affected areas of a plant or facility and apply sterilization treatment of pathogens and contaminants.”
The treatment can be done in as little as five to six hours. For example, BioWALL decontaminated every surface in a 20-acre facility in one day. Activity in the facility can be resumed immediately, as there is no residual toxicity.
BioWALL custom designs, engineers, fabricates and implements a wide range of systems, varying from small- dose systems to the largest capacity mobile systems in the world. Many of BioWALL’s systems are constructed with unlined mild steel piping and components.
Its mobile fleet contains a 53-inch Chemgen chlorine dioxide generation system, which houses a powerful chlorine dioxide generator, internal power plants, a full process control laboratory and temperature-controlled precursor chemical housing, with full-automation capability and fully redundant engineering.
Mason said these redundancies of all critical components ensure no down time during treatment operations.
The BioWALL team has demonstrated an exemplary efficacy and safety record spanning more than two decades, and holds the only commercial EPA registration for a non-carcinogenic sterilant that delivers broad-spectrum decontamination solutions to biological and chemical contaminants on porous and non-porous surfaces, structures and contents, Mason said.
— Keith Loria, contributing writer