The air cleaning power of ionized air is pretty amazing.
But before you rush off and buy an ionizer, there are things you should know.
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I this two part video series I will show you how to make an inexpensive, safe air purifier that is a very effective air clearing tool.
And I will answer the following, and related questions.
Do purifiers made with an air ionizer really work?
How do they work?
Does an air ionizer work on COVID?
Are they safe?
Are there side effects?
How do I stop air ionizers from depositing residue on walls, furniture and my lungs?
What do I need to make an air purifier?
And just how do I make a safe, effective, air purifier?
So lets start here:
Do purifiers made with an ion generator really work?
Research shows that filtering air removes harmful particles such as allergens, smoke, and mold.
Ion generators improve the removal.
How do they work?
Let’s answer that by showing you one setup for a demonstration.
An anion generator has two poles. A static field is created between the poles by charging one pole in this case, to -15,000 volts DC (-15 kv DC) and leaving the other at ground potential.
That causes ions to flow from the ground to -15 kv DC pole (the negative pole).
Let’s look at that.
I have put the anion generator under a piece of mdf and have each of the poles protruding through a hole.
On the negative pole I have put a steel scouring pad. Doing that creates a large ion collection plate.
When I hang a piece of tissue paper between the poles, you can see the effect of that ion flow.
If there are particles in the static field, ions attach to those particles. The now charged particles are heavier with the ion attached. Some of them simply drop out of the air. Others cling to anything in the vicinity.
The air is cleared of the particles.
Do Ionizers Kill Viruses?
Not exactly. Viruses are fragile, but a little negative electric charge generally will not kill them. That said, ionizers are far from useless in the fight against Covid-19.
There are many studies showing the efficacy of ionizers in preventing infection. Airborne viruses spread through air pollution by clinging onto particulates in the air. This is a well-studied phenomenon, and keeping the air clean is effective in reducing the spread of viruses.
Ionizers do their job very well by getting rid of particulate matter in the air through the ionization of these particles and trapping them on a collection filter.
A study https://www.nature.com/articles/srep11431 shows how scientists were able to prevent 100% of all infections to guinea pigs using an ionizer to strain out a strain of the influenza virus from the air. Ionizers may not kill the virus outright, but they will certainly do their job of keeping them virus from reaching you through the air.
While studies around the novel coronavirus per se are still in short supply, the underlying mechanisms are the same.
Are air purifiers safe?
The answer to that answers two questions.
Air purifiers made with anion generators are safe as long as the air is filtered.
Remember that earlier in the video I showed that the ionized particles stick to anything they get near. That includes your lungs.
So, there can be side effects that include throat irriation, coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, as well as increased risk of resparatory infection.
Do not use one unless you filter the air.
We will show you how to simply and inexpensively do that. So watch on.
To show how it removes smoke, I have made a simple acrylic box that fits over the generator demonstration board.
With the anion generator turned off, I will fill the box with smoke. Then I will turn the generator on.
You will see the smoke clear as the particles ionize.
Some will drop to the base. Others will stick to the sides and top of the box.
When the smoke is cleared, you will see ionized particles that stuck to sides have made them cloudy.
But when we remove the box, the air will be clear.
So let’s go forward.
In the left corner of the box is a piece of smoldering copy paper that will fill the box with smoke.
I will speed the video up as smoke fills the box and then slow it to normal speed when I turn the generator on to clear the smoke.
With the generator on, the particles are dropping to the base, sticking to the scouring pad and box walls.
With the smoke cleared, I remove the box and you see that all the smoke is gone.
I must make a very important point here, with emphasis on very.
Your air purifier must have a filter mechanism to capture all the ionized particles or they will end up on your walls, furniture and in your lungs.
So how do we do that?
It’s simple. And you don’t need much to do it.
In the next video I will show you how it is done.
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