For hundreds of years, ultraviolet technology has been a natural disinfectant for several applications. Ultraviolet (UV) is a form of electromagnetic radiation, a non-thermal and non-chemical light treatment that serves multiple purposes for industries worldwide.
Many of us recognise UV technology as a procedure for combatting microbial contamination in water. UV treatment for water is a safe and cost-effective way to disinfect and treat drinking water, reclaimed water and wastewater, encouraging companies across the globe to incorporate UV technology into their systems. A method we have been using for over a hundred years. So, what else do we use UV technology for, and what are the benefits?
UV light is a type of electromagnetic radiation. Many of us are used to it from the sun, which causes tans or sunburns. It is a spectrum of light just below the range of what is considered visible to the naked eye.
This electromagnetic radiation is transmitted in waves or particles from the sun at different wavelengths and frequencies. These wavelengths and frequencies are also known as the electromagnetic spectrum, organised into regions depending on their strengths. The most common regions include radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet (UV), x-rays and gamma rays.
Ultraviolet light on the electromagnetic spectrum falls somewhere between visible light and x-rays. Specifically, UV light has frequencies of 315nm-400nm (UV-A), 280nm-315nm (UV-B), 200nm-280nm (UV-C) and 100-200nm (Vacuum-UV). The unit of measurement used is Nanometres (nm).
Many industries worldwide use UV technology as an essential part of their operations. Some of these sectors include food service, healthcare, HVAC and refrigeration.
Predominantly, UV technology is used for cleaning purposes. Even the most rigorous cleaning methods we use daily, such as antibacterial wipes and bleach miss germs and bacteria. So, for these sectors, they must eliminate every ounce of harmful components. Not only does this ensure the safety of the people within those sectors, but their clients too.
The use of UV light and tech was widely adopted after the Covid-19 pandemic. Boeing announced it is introducing UV disinfecting technology inside their aeroplanes to make them safer and more sustainable. After all, UV light eliminates 99.9% of seasonal coronaviruses present in the air.
The benefits of UV technology outweigh the investment costs, which save money later down the line. Just some of the advantages include:
Plus, many other benefits. In the hospitality sector, UV technology can help extend product and shelf life, reduce waste, cross-contamination and chemicals, and reduce additives and preservatives, overall improving product quality. It also ensures food retains its weight, freshness, and colour.
The benefits for the healthcare sector include reducing hospital-acquired infections, liability, hospital stays, cross-contamination, and indoor air quality.
For HVAC and refrigeration, UV technology reduces costs on energy, water, capital and operations, the need for cleaning programmes, and extends equipment life.
There are various types of UV technology out there. UV is used in phototherapy, tanning, ink curing, coating and finishes, and for illumination in industries such as forensics or quality inspections.
UV is commonly used for applications such as:
At BSG Group of Companies, we provide a whole host of UV-related products to help tackle the rise and spread of harmful pathogens. Our disinfection systems are an incredibly versatile technology and do not negatively impact the environment. For further information, please contact us.