As the CEO of Purge Virus and as a sustainability architect with a diverse range of global experience over the past three decades, I am pleased to share this information below with you. The name of this section of our website was born out of multiple meanings. and www.i-on-change.com links into this page. The “i” is for my opinion on the change we need to improve health and environmental stewardship. The “i-on” is for “ionization” which is the technology that has so much potential to save lives and energy. As a passionate observer of clean-technology, the “i” is also a reflection of my “eye” on the changes that can generate new living wage jobs in a world struggling to overcome COVID-19 and the growing threats of Climate Change. – Charlie Szoradi
Post: 03/17/2021: Adaptive-reuse of real estate
Our team has been keeping an eye on the impact of COVID-19 and e-commerce relative to commercial real estate. We learned that Coresight Research estimates 25% of America’s roughly 1,000 malls will close over the next three to five years. (source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/27/25percent-of-us-malls-are-set-to-shut-within-5-years-what-comes-next.html).
The report says that, “Giving them a new life won’t be easy.” Parallel to this research, I watched a TEDx talk with Kimbal Musk (Elon’s brother) who believes that the category of Real Food may be the new internet. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUU1BffGon0). It dawned on me that America could convert vacant malls and other buildings into indoor farms to produce fresh, pesticide free, leafy greens and vegetables that are close in proximity to U.S. towns and cities. This type of adaptive-reuse can reduce the distance from farm to table and provide healthier diets for Americans.
Good News: FOMO has three ways to help add meaningful value though our current holdings – #1: Independence LED makes grow lights, which help farmers improve crop growth, and our low voltage direct current options with IoT controls save energy over and above other LED grow lights. #2: Our Energy Intelligence Center has algorithmic software to save energy on the heating and cooling of the grow farms, and #3: Purge Virus has disinfection technology that can reduce pathogens, which damage crops. This helps farmers generate more consistent harvest yields and profitability. In short, our clean-tech optimization solutions can help create FUTURE FOOD…which is food for thought!
Ionization is a Silver Bullet to Fight COVID-19 and Climate Change, with the Bonus of More American Jobs
The term “silver bullet” is defined by Cambridge Dictionary as a simple solution to a complicated problem. Most people would agree that COVID-19 and climate change are both complicated problems. Regardless of divergent political mindsets, citizens of the world might also agree that a cost-effective and non-invasive silver bullet would be a welcomed addition to address the ongoing challenges of pandemics and environmental sustainability. The solution addressed here is proven and available, but it is largely unknown and not being used by governments, corporations, or individuals. The solution does not adversely change how we live and work, and it is an added spoke on the wheel of other solutions such as getting vaccinated, following CDC guidelines, and practicing environmental stewardship, like using fewer plastic bottles and buying a more eco-friendly car on your next purchase. The bonus of the solution is the creation of new American jobs in clean-technology.
The silver bullet is all about AIR. Improved indoor air quality through ionization prevents the spread of COVID-19 by over 99% and reduces the need for as much outside replacement air in homes and buildings. Less replacement air saves energy which helps save the planet. In the U.S., buildings use over 70% of our total electricity and account for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. The largest consumer of building energy is typically heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Cleaning indoor air can save lives and the planet. If the silver bullet solution really exists, here are three questions with accompanying answers: #1: Why isn’t ionization being used for all buildings; #2: How does ionization work? #3: How can we use ionization to our benefit?
#1: Why isn’t ionization being used for all buildings?
Overall, humans are often more reactive than proactive when it comes to health and sustainability. Pharmaceutical companies are a key example. Cholesterol drugs help “cure” ailments, but we should probably focus more effort on putting better food into our stomachs. Vaccines help reduce the spread of COVID-19, but we should probably focus more effort on putting pathogen free air into our lungs. When it comes to climate change, renewable energy companies, such as solar and wind providers, add power to the grid. However, we should probably focus more on cost-effectively reducing the excessive power we use in ways that do not adversely change how we live and work. No one wants a cold dark house or higher energy bills for homes or businesses, so to date we have largely used less expensive fossil fuels to power how homes and businesses. The status quo is the major hurdle to a paradigm shift. Indoor air quality procedures (IAQP) are complicated, and have requirements per the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 62.1-2019 . Ionization and measuring indoor air quality levels are readily available but require some expertise to do it right.
#2: How does ionization work?
Ions are all around us and serve as “ninjas” to go after COVID-19. An ion is a particle, atom or molecule with a net electrical charge. The electron has a negative charge, and the equal and opposite charge of the proton is positive by convention. Ions are created with energy from rushing water, crashing waves, lightning, and even sunlight. The concentration of these naturally occurring ions is much lower indoors than outdoors. The adage, “Go outside to get some fresh air” is largely true. When ions come into contact with an acellular microorganism, such as COVID-19, the ions attach to the “spikes” on the pathogen and disrupt its surface proteins, rendering them inactive.
Since ion density is higher outdoors than indoors, ions are THE reason that restaurants are encouraged to have outdoor dining. Ion density is measured in ions per cubic centimeter (i/cc), and indoor air typically has less than 100 i/cc. By contrast, outdoor air in cities is often two to three times greater at 200-300 i/cc. Waterfalls may have 5,000 to 100,000 i/cc. Think of ions in the air as snowflakes in a snowstorm. The higher the concentration of ions, the higher the likelihood that they can connect and inactivate COVID-19 that is floating in the air.
#3: How can we use ionization to our benefit?
The phrase “catch lightning in a bottle” means to capture something powerful or difficult. Lightning is one of the ways that ions are created, and lightning comes from an electrostatic discharge. So, perhaps we can use a controlled and safe electrical charge indoors to mimic the naturally occurring and beneficial phenomenon of ions that are outdoors. Here is the great news: The ionization technology already exists, and HVAC duct systems already exist as an awesome conduit to distribute the higher density of ions to the rooms in a building. The technology is called bipolar ionization because of the beneficial positive and negative dual polarity of the charged particles. The key is to align the technology to the size of the air handling system in any given home, office, school or other building to achieve a lift up to 1,000 i/cc or greater to inactivate COVID-19. Third party testing shows pathogen reduction of over 99%.
The fortunate biproduct of cleaner indoor air is HVAC energy savings. Clean indoor air reduces the need to have as much outside replacement air in the ventilation system. Current ventilation standards lead to higher energy costs, with indoor air that is replaced with outside air 1-2 time per hour. This is literally like paying to heat the neighborhood in the winter and cooling the neighborhood in the summer. Bipolar ionization can reduce ventilation rates by up to 75%. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings account for 40% of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and HVAC is often the largest energy consumer, accounting for 35% of total building energy. With current ventilation standards, conditioning the outside air that is brought in represents 30-50% (average 40%) of the total load on HVAC systems in most climates. With a 75% reduction of outside replacement air on the average of 40% energy used for outside air treatment, the energy savings is 30% on HVAC. The 30% energy savings on the 40% of GHG adds up to a 12% reduction in GHG without changing ANY behavior.
COVID-19 Results: Over 99% reduction of indoor air pathogens, which dramatically reduces the risk of infections.
Climate Change Results: 12% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions without any changes in human behavior.
Employment Results: Creation of hundreds of thousands of new American jobs in clean-technology, given the massive 87 billion square feet of non-residential U.S real estate and more than 82 million single family comes.
For more information: See the Webinar (video recording and download file) presented by Charlie Szoradi.