Photocatalytic Oxidation for Grow Rooms: Pros and Cons

Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) is a NASA-developed technology that uses ultraviolet light to break down organic pollutants. Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) purifiers effectively remove harmful contaminants from the air and are often used in cannabis grow rooms to remove mold. However, not all Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) purifiers are created equal. This blog will review the pros and cons of Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) technology and how AirROS Technology is more effective than other Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) technology.

How Does Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) Technology Work?

Photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) is NASA’s technology to purify the air on space shuttles. PCO works by using ultraviolet light to break down organic molecules into simpler compounds. The process of breaking down these molecules produces hydroxyl radicals and superoxide ions.

The Benefits of Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) technology

Photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) is well known for indoor growing, looking to purify the air without using chemicals. But what are the benefits of PCO?

One of the main benefits of using a PCO purifier is that it does not produce harmful chemicals and is safe to use to remove contaminants from the air.

Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) Biggest Drawbacks

There are some drawbacks to using Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) technology. One of the biggest concerns is that they do not provide surface treatment. For the most part, they do not have any sanitizer which is long-lived in the output air. Therefore, they are treating in the air ducts or the air coming through the purifier. It is not reaching surfaces when it comes to long distances. Some Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) companies will claim surface treatment, but you have to be careful. It is in a lab at a set distance from the purifier, whereas in real-world applications it may not reach even to a door in a larger environment.

Does Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) Produce Ozone?

Most Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) Air Purifiers do not produce ozone, a drawback of this technology. Ozone at low levels can help sanitize surfaces, especially in commercial cannabis grow rooms, and help eliminate odor effectively. For surface treatment, air purification systems must produce low-safe ozone levels or at least hydrogen peroxide.

Surface treatments are a must in grow rooms to prevent cross-contamination. Surface treatment is necessary because if powdery mildew or aspergillus starts growing on a single plant, it can quickly spread through dozen others. This is where Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) purification systems fail because they rely on the air coming into their reaction chamber only.

Air & Surface Sanitation Solution For Grow Rooms

The only way around this problem is to purify the air and surfaces plus odor control without chemicals. It would seem that having an industrial AirROS system is the right solution. AirROS industrial systems are designed specifically to destroy mold (including aspergillus, powdery mildew), viruses (coronavirus), and provide odor control in the air and surfaces in cannabis facilities.

How does an AirROS industrial air purification system work?

AirROS is an industrial air and surface purification system that can prevent pathogens, mold, viruses, yeast, and bacteria, reduce cross-contamination, and eliminate cannabis odor. AirROS purifiers utilize and create ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). First, it kills pathogens and odor as it passes through the air purifier. In addition, it sanitizes the air that comes out of the purifier, enters the environment, and continues to sanitize all surfaces it contacts. Here is the 2 stage process:

Phase 1- Primary Air Cleaning

Placed within your room’s airflow, air from the environment containing microorganisms enters the purifier’s internal chamber. The reaction chamber creates non-thermal plasma and generates ROS. ROS are comprised of 5 short-lived, highly Reactive Oxygen Species:

  • Atomic oxygen O(3P)
  • Singlet oxygen 1O2
  • Hydroxyl radical .OH
  • Superoxide O2-
  • Peroxynitrite ONOO-

These break down carbon-to-carbon bonds that sanitize the air and destroy all bacteria, molds, viruses, and other pathogens as they pass through the reaction chamber.

Phase 2- Secondary Surface & Air Cleaning

Provides Surface sanitation and continued Air sanitation. The purified air now diffused into the environment contains longer lived Reactive Oxygen Species:

These combine and create Hydrogen Trioxide (H2O3) an Active Antimicrobial formed through the peroxone process. This H2O3 is very effective at sanitizing the surfaces and air 24/7.

ROS with H2O3 further sanitizes the room air and long-distance surfaces from the purifier. This industrial air purifier technology is the only one that can provide odor control, long-distance surface treatment, and purify the air all at once.

AirROS offers a more complete and effective solution to mold prevention in grow rooms than photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) purifiers. If you operate a commercial cultivation facility and looking for an air purification system for your grow room, we highly recommend choosing an AirROS commercial air and surface purification system. Contact us today to learn more about our products and how we can help you keep your plants healthy and thriving.


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