About Chlorine and Chlorine Dioxide
Chlorine (Cl2) and Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) have very different chemical properties.
Chlorine has been used as a disinfectant for many years but has some very undesirable by-products, especially in the treatment of water. Chlorine reacts with many pollutants in water, such as detergents, bathing oils, algae, and nitrogen compounds found in human waste, especially ammonia (NH3). So an alternative to Chlorine has been sought after; Chlorine Dioxide is that alternative.
Chlorine dioxide is an oxidizing biocide not a metabolic toxin. Chlorine dioxide kills micro-organisms by disrupting of the flow of nutrients across the cell membrane, not by disturbing the metabolic process. What this means is that it is safe to use around children and pets.
The effectiveness of chlorine dioxide is much higher than chlorine, and more effective against specific compounds and bacteria.
How It Works
Chlorine dioxide kills bacteria by attacking their critical physical functions at the cellular level. It disrupts the absorption of proteins into the cells. This effectively starves the cells by not allowing them to take in nutrients. By diffusing through the protective layer of the cell it alters the permeability of the outer cell membrane and renders the cells inactive from the inside out.
Chlorine dioxide works in such a way that bacteria will not develop a resistance to it. This eliminates the need to alternate biocide treatments. While remaining non-toxic Chlorine dioxide kills bacteria found in and around foodstuffs, like Salmonella in poultry products. This makes Chlorine dioxide the perfect disinfectant for kitchens.
Important advantages of Chlorine dioxide over Chlorine
- Effective at lower concentrations than chlorine
- Effective against bacteria at pH values between 4 and 10
- Superior to chlorine in the destruction of spores and bacteria
- Requires shorter contact time to be effective
- More soluble in water
- Does not react with ammonia
- It destroys THM precursors and increases coagulation
- Destroys phenols and has no distinct smell
- Removes iron and magnesia compounds