Charles Waddell, CTO Global Plasma Solutions

The Future of IAQ Lies in Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization

July 07, 2020

By Charlie Waddell, CTO Global Plasma Solutions

It seems that every day in the news, we see a new potential solution for combatting COVID-19. In the world of air purification, a lot of our customers have asked us about the relationship between the global pandemic and ionization — technology that we at Global Plasma Solutions have leveraged for over a decade. While we would never claim that ionization is a silver bullet solution for COVID-19, there’s no doubt that it can reduce exposure in indoor environments. Specifically, something you’ll begin to see a lot more of in our new normal is technology called NPBITM— the needlepoint bipolar ionization solution preferred by facility managers to create healthier spaces.

Charles Waddell, CTO Global Plasma Solutions
Charles Waddell

Imagine an individual with COVID-19 walks into a room in your office building. With the smallest of actions – like a cough or a sneeze – harmful pathogens have been released into the air. From that moment forward, anyone who walks into the room is exposed to the virus. These scenarios happen countless times each day, and historically there have not been solutions to address the problem. That’s where NPBITM comes in.

What NPBITM does is produce millions of positively and negatively charged ions. These ions travel through the air via the HVAC system, continuously seeking out and attaching to harmful particles. When that happens, two key mechanisms occur:

  1. Particles gain a charge and are attracted together, growing larger and making it easier to extract them through the building’s filtration and ventilation systems.
  2. Contact with ions disrupts the pathogens’ surface proteins or genetic code in the case of virus, rendering them ineffective and non-viable.

Many HVAC managers are focused on increased filtration and ventilation — but that can only do so much. For building owners that want to deliver a clean, safe workplace environment, installing technology that relies on NPBITM and reduces the number of particulates in the air is absolutely essential to minimizing the spread of disease.

Harvard University even recently conducted a national study in which they identified a clear “statistical link, revealing ‘large overlap’ between COVID-19 deaths and other diseases associated with long-term exposure to fine particulate matter.”  While we may still be weeks or months from a world where we’re all regularly walking into commercial buildings, a high standard of indoor air quality is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ — there will be more pressure on all building managers to deliver a safe, pathogen-free environment. While ionization as a technology has been around for decades, its role and use in facilities has never been more important.

About the Author

Charlie Waddell is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Global Plasma Solutions.