The role of negative ions on the quality of indoor air

freshlight2 Negative Ion

semiconductor photo

According to a report by independent Dutch Research and Technology Organization, TNO, negative ions may contribute to a more comfortable indoor environment. Even a simple apparatus as a lamp with semi-conductor technique easily produces negative ions. These ions will react with particles forming agglomerate(clusters) that will precipitate (particles quickly clump together and fall to the ground). Also, a reaction with oxygen and moisture will result in the formation of a superoxide radical and peroxides. These radicals easily react with e.g. organic volatiles including spores and allergens. Depending on the concentration of the radicals, these compounds can be deteriorated fully.TNO1

The composition of air in homes, offices and hospitals is complex. Besides the compounds occurring in ambient air, such as nitrogen oxides, organic hydrocarbons, also known as Volatile Organic Compounds  (VOCs) and particulate matter, there are many chemical compounds present that come from building materials ( paints, chipboard), furnishings, carpets and other household products such as detergents [ e.g. 1] . Sometimes these compounds release pleasant odors.  Consider the aroma of an orange or cleaning with an agent which is made from citric acid. The odor may also be experienced as uncomfortable, for example, particle board and other building materials release the unpleasant smell of formaldehyde. This can result in stinging and tearing eyes. Also, odor may be related to a specific environment such as the smell of old books in a library, the toilet, staircase, fungus, mold or animal/pets.  [e.g. 2]

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The gases, which emit from the various materials, may react with each other as well as with compounds which come from the outside air potentially forming new compounds [3]. Usually we see little of this, because the concentrations are very low. Sometimes, the compounds formed have a negative effect on the quality of the indoor air.

More and more, innovative methods are reaching the market which can improve the quality of indoor air. One of these methods is based on ionization, whereby the production of negative ions are used to clean the air.

Negative ions in the air can make an important contribution to a more comfortable indoor environment and can be easily produced. For example, with the lighting lamp which, in addition also through (SMD) semiconductor technology, negative ions can be formed. Negative ions react with particles causing this clustering and from the indoor air are removed. Also, they can react with oxygen and moisture, wherein the reactive superoxide and peroxides will be formed. These radicals are responsible for the removal of unwanted odors, and for example, may also be allergens and fungi. (https://www.tno.nl/en/)