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What is Hypochlorous Acid?

Hypochlorous acid: a molecule chosen by nature

Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) is a molecule naturally produced and released within white blood cells, acting as a key component of our immune system, to fight against invading microorganisms. So, it’s a non-toxic, natural way to protect and heal ourselves: a natural and powerful answer of our body to pathogens.

It can be “created” outside our body through an electrochemical process and in this case HOCl offers these same protection benefits as well as soothing properties and support of natural healing process. 

Given this and its non-toxicity, it has been identified as a useful cleaning agent and sanitizer (also against Covid-19 as reported by US Environmental Protection Agency). But it’s a there a lot more…

Simple: even it’s quite easy to make, it’s not so easy to maintain as stable solution for commercial purposes. At Ecas4 we introduced long ago technological improvements in order to produce it in a stable way: we found out that the safest and most reliable way is electrochemical production, through the electrolysis of a highly pure solution of water and salt.

As machinery manufacturer we started in 2006 to develop the best technology and our approach was fully inspired by nature, by observation of how the immune system of vertebrates (the most developed living organisms) works. Nonspecific immunity is substantially based on the activity of neutrophils and macrophages leucocytes, which engulf foreign cells. Of great importance is the action of myeloperoxidase (MPO), an enzyme that produces hypochlorous acid (HOCl) during the neutrophils’ respiratory burst.

To reply the same process and obtain hypochlorous acid various methods are possible, among which the electrochemical way is the most advanced one: so at Ecas4 we started to study how it works moving from the experience of the most important Russian electrochemical school directed by Prof. Bakhir. Then we designed and patented our special electrochemical cell allowing the synthesis of a pure, stable, and reliable solution under well-controlled and reproducible conditions. Not all HOCl producers can rely on the same technology.

What is electrochemical activation?

Electrochemical activation is a technology that has been in use for more than 100 years, although its physico-chemical properties have been investigating only since 1970s. The transformation of solutions with a low content of mineral salts into a specific metastable state, through electrochemical process, generates two compounds, generically called Anolyte and Catholyte, originated from different electrode chamber:

  • Anodic solution (with positive charge, also called Anolyte) containing hypochlorous acid with oxidizing action;
  • Cathodic solution (with negative charge, also called Catholyte) containing sodium hydroxide with cleansing properties.

So, while Anolyte is able to penetrate the cell wall of microorganisms thus being able to fight against bacterial cells, Catholyte is a basic solution that has excellent degreasing properties.

How does it work? Natural elements, natural process

The heart of the system is an electrolysis cell containing two electrodes, a cathode and an anode, separated by a membrane. A brine made of filtered and softened water and high purity sodium chloride (just table salt) is then injected into the cell. By the use of electricity, with predefined and controlled amperage and voltage values, the cell releases the two electrochemically activated outputs we mentioned, Anolyte and Catholyte.

The first has a high sanitizing power and the possibility to be used in various applications, the second has strong cleaning and degreasing properties: here is Hypochlorous Acid!