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ECA Water: The story so far

Taking a look at the history of electrochemically activated water (ECA), its development, and its future as a leading sustainable solution.


ECA technology

ECA Water is the technology behind CtrlFlow, one of our leading sustainable cleaning products. Our CtrlFlow systems are already being used for cleaning and disinfecting on large vessels by P&O Cruises. But what is ECA exactly and where did it come from?

Electrochemically activated water, also known simply as ECA, uses a form of electrolysis. By applying a small electrical current to a specialised electrolysis cell, our CtrlFlow systems generate a hypochlorous acid and sodium hydroxide combined solution with nothing but water and salt.

Despite being an innovative way to safely and sustainably clean and disinfect countless working environments without environmentally damaging synthetic chemicals, ECA as a technology has been in use a long time. In fact, ECA solutions have a rich history dating back to the early 20th century…

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First beginnings

When early 20th century scientists studied the properties of water that had undergone electrolysis, they found that electrolytically activated water held impressive disinfectant properties. Researchers learned more about electrical fields and how those fields can create chemical reactions within liquids like water, ultimately leading to safer and cleaner hygiene practices through ECA solutions.

During World War I, armies used ECA technology for water treatment, sanitation, wound healing, and more. Extensive research and development efforts were then invested into refining ECA solution products, resulting in several further applications such as hand sanitisers, food processing platforms, livestock disinfectants, and household cleaning products.


Breakthroughs in the 1970s

ECA solutions were heavily developed in Russia in the 1970s, marking a significant development in hygiene and disinfection. This cleaning solution was widely used by healthcare professionals to sanitise medical tools and equipment, as well as hospital surfaces. This is because one of the key properties of ECA Solution is its effectiveness against pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

ECA started to prove itself as a potent disinfectant that kills bacteria more effectively than traditional bleach-based cleaners. Its toxicity profile made it a preferred option for healthcare facilities due to its minimal impact on the environment. ECA solutions now remain an efficacious means of cleaning and sanitising surfaces in hospitals and other healthcare environments.

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Uses in the 1980s

Japan adopted ECA solutions in the 1980s for sterilising medical instruments, plant cultivation, and livestock farming. Today, ECA solutions are used worldwide in various fields due to the development of high-performance materials. They are used in water treatment, food and beverage industries, landscaping, mushroom cultivation, and aquaculture.

In the US and Canada, ECA solutions were approved for use in food preparation processes and disinfecting fresh-cut foods. They are also used in hospitals, nursing homes, and veterinary medicine. ECA solutions were also found to combat legionella and prevent biofilms in water systems. There is even evidence for an efficacy against Hepatitis B viruses, (HIV) as well as different epidemics.


Further developments

ECA has become increasingly popular in a variety of water applications due to its effectiveness and eco-friendliness. ECA can be used for disinfection of drinking water, wastewater treatment, and irrigation systems. By using ECA technology, harmful chemicals and additives that are traditionally used in these applications can be eliminated, reducing harm to both humans and the environment.

Additionally, ECA water has been shown to have a longer shelf life than traditional chemical solutions—up to several months—which reduces waste and saves money over time. As more industries begin to adopt this innovative technology, ECA water will play an increasingly important role in ensuring safe and sustainable use of our precious natural resources.

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2021: The Tower trials

Our CtrlFlow ECA solution has been developed and adapted by us to work perfectly in the unique environments onboard cruise ships. CtrlFlow ECA water solutions have completely transformed cleaning and disinfecting for P&O Cruises onboard their ships and have delivered countless benefits. They now only need one product for their whole cleaning and disinfecting process.

As well as providing installation, machine support and maintenance for P&O Cruises, we have also developed and innovated to make it work perfectly onboard. This includes filter development, pressure sensors, overflow prevention, increasing capacity through a holding tank, and making the CtrlFlow systems fully mobile to allow teams to move machines to where they are needed.

looking ahead

The Future of ECA

The future of ECA water solutions looks promising with the growing awareness surrounding sustainable technology and methods. ECA water solutions will likely be a popular choice for eco-friendly cleaning and disinfection in households and commercial spaces. Advancements in ECA will improve its efficiency and reduce operational costs, making it more accessible to smaller industries.

The integration of smart technology into ECA machines will also elevate their capabilities, allowing for remote control and data analysis that can enhance productivity levels. Overall, the future of ECA water solutions seems bright as it aligns with the increasing global sustainability efforts while still providing efficient cleaning options for various industries.

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