In this KBS conversation with Jimmy Henley, we discuss how electrostatic sprayers were sourced over time, how it works and is effective in deploying cleaning and disinfecting programs quickly and efficiently. Electrostatic sprayers are instrumental in helping clients stay ahead of the curve and deliver healthy operations for their employees.
Hi I’m James Krouse, Vice President of Marketing for KBS. Since the COVID crisis began KBS has worked with it’s clients to respond with robust cleaning and disinfecting programs that had to be deployed rapidly. Jimmy Henley, as Senior Executive Vice President at KBS has been instrumental in sourcing cleaning devices; including electrostatic sprayers that have been instrumental in the KBS response.
We talked about how that technology was sourced over time, how it works and is effective in deploying cleaning and disinfecting programs quickly and efficiently.
Jimmy, can you talk a little about the evolution of using electrostatic spraying at KBS client sites?
When COVID first came about, the electrostatic spray equipment was not available. So we had ten to twelve weeks of lead time. So we chose to go in the direction of just basically cold water foggers which were low volume, low pressure that we actually had the option to have a hand held unit or a bigger unit for big distribution applications. Probably in the 60-70 micron range so the surfaces were a little more wet than what we would’ve originally wanted, but that was kinda the only thing we had our hands on at the time.
We then cycled over quickly afterwards and we picked up some hip foggers, more of a disposable type fogger in my opinion because once the disinfectant ran through over some many cycles, the valves and the hoses started to get soft and had maintenance problems. So we basically we just replaced those with a new one.
We then progressed on to getting some nice backpack foggers and controlled the volume on the handle down at the spout. And from a control range from 20 to about 50 or 60 microns so you can make it almost as dry or as wet as you really needed. And we had a pretty wide range of disinfectants that we could run through those foggers. Anything that was hospital grade, EPA registered.
We then got some electrostatic units in (probably 2-3 months into the COVID cycle). At that point we got hand held electrostatic machines as well as backpacks and those became a big hit right off the bat. They are made in the United States out of Fort Worth Texas. We really wanted to try and support that. Backpack sprayers we found that the hand held electrostatic machines seemed to gum up and fog up a little bit and had some issues. We chose not to go with those.
Again, the electrostatic, once we got those we were more into about a 40 micron range. That electrostatic technology wrapped up the metal surfaces and gave them a complete coverage on the spray.
What are some of the benefits of electrostatic spraying in particular?
I think from an advantage standpoint theres not as much inhalation issue as the microns are much larger than fogging. So you’re not breathing some kind of atomization process that burns your throat and nose similar to what you would with a fogger spraying out at 20 microns.
The other real advantage is fogging and those sprayers are what I would refer to as more of directional spraying. When you’re spraying it, it just kinda going and atmospherically drifts up in the air. With the electrostatic, you’re doing more of a specific task. The stream of electrostatic fog coming out is going directly at a surface. Probably more in the 1 to 2 feet away from the surface vs 5 to 10 feet away from the surface. So when it hits the surface there a positive or negative charge that it seeks and so when it hits the surface it actually wraps itself around the metal items. Then you really get full coverage a whole lot faster.
The emist electrostatic fogger will spray about 55 thousand square feet in an hour versus a fogger probably spraying more in the 10-20 thousand range depending on what kind of stream you have blowing out.
Electrostatically it seems like the choice of chemical is more of a hydrogen peroxide and chlorine mix and something that is typically already ready to use and we poor in and go. With the foggers, there is some mixing involved because if its 2 ounces to a gallon and then someone mixing it versus just pouring a concentration right into the electrostatic reservoir.
Electrostatic spraying has become widely used but wasn’t it initially used in very select applications?
Yes, it’s actually really like the choice of spray now. You are exactly right it was more in the healthcare, hospitality area where you didn’t really want to get surfaces heavily wet or alot of moisture around them but now it’s pretty much everyone that is calling. If we get 50 COVID calls in a week, I would say 48 of them would prefer that you use electrostatic. Because again, it completely wraps the surface. So if you are spraying a column your just gonna hit the one side and then the positive and negative charges do the rest of the work. So they are actually wrapping themselves around that surface.
We have a video that emist put out that actually uses a blacklight and shows the principles of when you are just fogging. You can see the colors on the walls and the surfaces change. But when you go in with an electrostatic and just hit that one area the entire surface changes color to prove the fact that it does actually wrap that metal surface.
What do you see the future of electrostatic spraying being?
I see the technology probably improving because those folks that didn’t have the electrostatic sprayers were taking their little handheld carpet extracting machine and using it as a fogger almost. Because there was nothing else available at the time. I think the technology is really fast forwarded in the last 7 months. There is a lot of electrostatic equipment out there now.
That was Jimmy Henley, Executive Vice President at KBS talking about electrostatic spraying. KBS has used this technology and others in over 250,000 COVID response is nationwide since the crisis began.
You can learn more at www.kbs-services.com.
I’m James Krouse for KBS.