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Frequently Asked Questions

Where does Nitrogen Dioxide (NO₂) gas come from?
Nitrogen dioxide gas is a common, well-understood gas that comes out of every car, factory, and power plant. As such, we are exposed to it every day and can even see it as the smog that hovers over large cities. It is produced in silos as a byproduct of fermentation of newly harvested crops.
Is sterilization with NO₂ safe?
Yes! Sterilization systems are designed to inactivate microbial organisms while also limiting human exposure. Systems that use NO₂ for sterilization are designed to neutralize the residual gas upon completion of the sterilization portion of the cycle. One of the advantages of NO₂ compared to existing sterilant gases is that low concentrations of gas are required. Furthermore, the gas has a detectable odor at concentrations lower than a level that is harmful. It is a relatively stable gas that is not carcinogenic and neither flammable nor explosive.
What is the mechanism of NO₂ sterilization?
Sterilization refers to the elimination of all viable microbial contamination. NO₂ sterilization technology has been proven, patented, and approved (CE Mark, FDA).It is effective against a wide range of microorganisms, including all bacteria, viruses, fungi, and spores. The gas works as a sterilant by degrading DNA through single-strand breaks. Eniware is adapting this technology in a portable, power-independent for factor. Regulatory approval will be complete in 2018.
What advantages does NO₂ offer over other methods of sterilization?
Unlike autoclaves, which require large amounts of electricity and distilled water, NO₂ is compatible with heat, water, and pressure sensitive devices. Compared to other sterilant gases, such as hydrogen peroxide and ethylene oxide, NO₂ is safer, less corrosive, and requires shorter aeration periods.
Is NO₂ sterilization suitable for environments without access to electricity or water?
NO₂ gas is effective at room temperature and ambient pressure, making it uniquely suited for low-resource environments. Eniware has designed a sterilizer that leverages these qualities to allow for portable, electricity, and water-free sterilization. All that is required is the EPS-25, and a set of consumables consisting of a NO₂ gas generating module, scrubber material to absorb the gas after sterilization, a chemical indicator to confirm NO₂ exposure, and an acid neutralizer for safe disposal of consumables. The unit is equipped with a battery-operated timer that notifies the operator when the sterilization cycle is complete and the gas has been absorbed by the scrubber.

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