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Chemistry Works! What is Orbio 5000 sc?

Chemistry-Works-WebChemistry Works!  How do cleaning products work?  Every day, people use cleaning chemicals to remove dirt and unwanted contaminants from surfaces. Through the use of such products, surfaces are made more hygienic and the indoor environment is made safer for people.

What is Orbio 5000 sc?

The Orbio machine makes a solution of Sodium Hydroxide in water by passing electric current between two electrodes through a medium of tap water and sodium chloride (salt).  The Sodium Hydroxide solution is generated and collected into a secondary container for later use.  Tennant has coined the termsplit stream technology because a second solution of acidic bleach is generated and discarded.

According to a press release dated March 15, 2011 from Tennant Company..

The Orbio 5000-Sc cleaning solution effectively cleans most soils, including fats, proteins and organic oils. It matches or exceeds the performance of most conventional cleaners so customers can replace many costly, potentially harmful chemicals from their cleaning programs with just one cleaning solution.

What is Sodium Hydroxide and does it clean?

Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) is a common chemical used for many industrial purposes. In cleaning products, chemists use Sodium Hydroxide to adjust the pH of a cleaning chemical formulation.  An alkaline pH in a cleaning formulation helps fortify cleaning power when dealing with greases and oily soils. Sodium hydroxide dissolved in water does not make a cleaning product.  Some common generic terms for sodium hydroxide include lye, caustic, or caustic soda.  Sodium hydroxide solutions are commonly used as drain openers.

Orbio 5000-sc Sodium Hydroxide Solution Properties:

pH = 10 (mild alkaline)

% Sodium Hydroxide:  500 parts per million (estimated concentration).

Surface Tension: 72 dynes per sq cm (estimated to be the same as water).

Water and Surface Tension

The chemical structure of water is such that individual water molecules tend to stick together through a phenomenon called hydrogen bonding. This intense attraction between adjacent water molecules prevents water from spreading over surfaces.  Instead, water tends to bead up as if being repelled from a surface.  This means water has a high surface tension making it a poor cleaner all by itself.

Adding relatively tiny amounts of a cleaning chemical radically changes the properties of water, resulting in a 60% reduction in surface tension.  The surfactant is able to interfere and prevent the hydrogen bonding allowing a cleaning solution to penetrate and lift dirt from surfaces.  The resulting cleaning solution has a low surface tension.

Surface Tension of Plain Water:  72 dynes per sq. cm

Surface Tension of Cleaning Chemical Solution:  30 dynes per sq. cm

Show and Tell:  A Simple Demo and a Dramatic difference with a Surfactant

If you are confronted with someone that has bought into the idea of the Orbio 5000 Sc, take the time to explain how cleaning chemicals work.  Then you can do a simple visual demo, all you need is a disposable plastic plate.

DEMO:  Start by putting test solutions into separate spray bottles. In our test, we sprayed equal amounts on individual plastic plates of Orbio 5000 Sc cleaning solution, and Multi-Clean Century neutral cleaner diluted 1 oz per gallon which contains 400 parts per million (ppm) of surfactant.  The visual results are dramatic. Try it for yourself.


More Proof That Chemistry Works!

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