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Plasma Clean – Business as usual

Dear Customer,

Where to begin?

I’ll start by saying that we’re still fully operational.

Our teams will be working from home and will be able to provide a full service. Our working hours will remain 9:00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday. We’re all ready and equip to take your calls, emails and process orders and maintenance requests.

This is going to be a difficult time for all and we’re taking every step to ensure we can support our people, our customers and our business. These are uncertain times and I would personally like to send my best wishes to my team, our customers, suppliers and agents all around the world.

Steve Keogh CEO – Plasma Clean

Steve Keogh CEO – Plasma Clean
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Resolving a commercial kitchen extract system without affecting business

For Architects, M&E and Foodservice Ventilation Consultants the successful conclusion of a commercial kitchen project usually takes place when the job is handed over. However, this isn’t always the case.

Sarah Cooke, Account Manager of Plasma Clean, explains how one restaurant found itself being served a 70-day notice to close by an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) shortly after it commenced trading.

Sarah Cooke, Account Manager of Plasma Clean

What happened?

“When a Lebanese restaurant opened its doors to the public it was with the aim of providing its customers with delicious, fresh, char-grilled Middle-Eastern cuisine. The restaurant was located in a built up residential and commercial district sandwiched between a University and a shopping centre. Within weeks of opening the restaurant found itself the subject of a series of complaints about the odours and smoke emitting from the kitchen extract system. With these complaints made directly to the City council, it wasn’t long before the EHO was called in to investigate.”

The restaurant premises are surrounded by commercial offices and there are residential properties directly above. On attending site, it became evident to the EHO that the complaints made against the restaurant had merit. The change of cooking method, from a simple café to providing a menu based on char-grilling had resulted in a large increase in grease, smoke and odours being emitted from the kitchen extract system. This became a real nuisance to the restaurant’s neighbours.

The solution

Following a series of communications between the EHO and the restaurant, a 70-day notice to close or to rectify the kitchen extract ventilation was served. With no experience or understanding of this problem the restaurant called in an architect to review and provide a solution. The architects turned to Plasma Clean, as specialists in this area and having a wealth of experience of providing successful grease, smoke and odour control solutions across a wide range of commercial kitchen projects.

Plasma Clean attended the restaurant to carry out an odour risk assessment, and survey the existing kitchen extract system. The odour risk assessment score determines whether the kitchen extract ventilation system is a medium, high or very high risk. The restaurant came out as a very high risk. This was mainly due to the proximity of the neighbouring properties. Known as ‘receptors’ from the discharge point and the nature of the cooking. Char-grill cooking is notorious for producing very high levels of grease, smoke and odours.

Whilst inspecting the kitchen extract ventilation system we discovered that there was already an activated carbon system in place. It had been retained from when the restaurant was converted from a café. The owner thought that this would have been sufficient to cope with the change to char-grill cooking. However, whilst activated carbons are an effective form of gaseous odour control, they are not suitable for grease and smoke abatement.

Our strategy

Once the survey was completed it was clear that a bespoke grease, smoke and odour control strategy was required. The difficult part was how the odour equipment would incorporate into the existing ventilation system.

We wanted to:

  • keep the additional pressure drop as low as possible
  • minimise disruptions to the restaurant

For the primary grease filtration, we opted for high efficiency canopy mounted grease filters. They replaced the existing low efficiency baffle-type grease filters.

Plasma Clean canopy mounted grease filters

This ensured relatively clean ductwork. The coil filters also reduce the maintenance requirements and increase the operational life and efficiency of the odour control equipment further downstream.

To remove the cooking odours, we installed the Xtract 2100 ozone injection system. Ozone is a well-known disinfectant and odour neutralizer which eliminates odours as opposed to masking them.

Plasma Clean Xtract 2100 ozone injection system

To eliminate the smoke and secondary grease we selected an in-duct mounted Electrostatic Precipitator. This solution operates by ionising and trapping grease and smoke particles onto collector plates.

The existing activated carbons were kept at the end of the system, as this was a particularly sensitive application. The activated carbons act as a final polish and absorb any residual ozone.

Sarah explains:

“The EHO approved the recommendations without amendment, and work got underway for the retrofit. This was carried out successfully and the 70-day notice to close was revoked following the EHO’s follow up examination.”

Considerations

There are six main areas to consider when selecting a grease, smoke and odour strategy which can differ on each application. From our experience, every commercial kitchen will benefit from an odour risk assessment at the earliest stage. As once trading if there are issues with grease, smoke or odour, the implications can be costly.

Sarah concludes:

“By calling in specialists at the beginning of a commercial kitchen project, grease, smoke and odour control strategies can be addressed in advance with a minimal impact on the overall cost and timescale of a project.”

Contact us

To arrange a free consultation, contact Plasma Clean. We will provide specialist expertise and guidance on the most appropriate grease, smoke and odour solution for your kitchen project:

ask@plasma-clean.com, +44 (0)161 870 2325

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Indoor Air Quality – Infection and Odour Control in small enclosed spaces

Do you want to disinfect air in small enclosed spaces 24 hours a day?

Interested in controlling viruses, moulds, fungi and more airborne microbes?

Want 99.8% germ kill performance?

Do you wish to disinfect air where people are present in the area?

You have come to the right place!

Our solution has been designed to disinfect air in small enclosed spaces, such as: cold stores, production facilities, food storage and public areas. In fact anywhere that requires infection and odour control.

Performance data: 99.8% germ kill

99.8% germ kill UV-C light at 254 nm is known as ‘germicidal’ UV-C because of its lethal effect on micro-organisms.

Independent testing has been carried out by Plasma Clean at Leeds University in the UK. Using a biological indicator designed specifically for the pharmaceutical, food and medical device industries, a reduction of 99.8% was shown using Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores when exposed to UV-C.

The solution

In our unit, air passes over high intensity UV-C emitters which act on airborne microbes such as: Viruses, Bacteria, Spores, Moulds, Yeast and Fungi.

Main benefits on this solution

1. Disinfects 24 hours a day

2. Is practically maintenance-free

3. Dispenses with the need for chemical cleaners which can be expensive and harmful to health and the environment

4. Has an excellent price / benefit ratio

5. Simple to retrofit

6. In food storage areas: Reduces spoilage of fresh produce and extends shelf life!

Safety

The unit does not produce ozone, and has light guards to prevent UV-C light escaping.

As a result, the unit can be used in places where people are present.

As an additional safety feature, the UV-C emitters have a special Teflon sheath to protect against breakage.

About us

Plasma Clean is a manufacturer of a range of solutions designed to enhance air quality. We operate throughout the UK and beyond, providing solutions for a wide range of applications.

We were founded in 2008 by University of Manchester scientists Dr David Glover and Professor Christopher Whitehead.

An innovative, research led UK technology company specialising in solutions that help provide a cleaner and safer environment in which to live and work. We use cutting edge plasma and UV-C technologies to control odour and infection in buildings providing trusted total air quality solutions.

Our products are designed in-house and manufactured in Cheshire, UK so we can keep a close eye on every detail and make sure each item meets our high quality standards.

Get in touch

For further information and a free consultation:

ask@plasma-clean.com, +44 (0)161 870 2325

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How technology is helping engineers move the dial on Indoor Air Quality

The BESA (Building Engineering Services Association) magazine (Issue 15) is a special edition dedicated to health and wellbeing.

Plasma Clean have an editorial piece on ‘How technology is helping engineers move the dial on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)’ (page 23).

About the editorial piece

In this editorial, Dr David Glover, Plasma Clean Technical Director, talks about IAQ technology. He claims that being radical in how we tackle IAQ is at the heart of everything we do at Plasma Clean. We use cutting edge plasma and UV-C technologies to provide total and trusted air quality solutions.

Dr Glover continues: “IAQ is a key component of quality of life in the workplace and has a clear link to productivity, health and well-being. We are determined to make a difference. Whether that is installing the latest air quality monitors to show occupants what is going on, to investing in new ideas to get the best out of traditional HVAC systems. Our technology is helping engineers do that.”

Indoor Air – is it really fresh?

The most common causes of poor IAQ are mainly:

– ventilation systems issues

– high CO2 levels

– inadequate temperature control

– humidity, infection and odour

– poor air circulation

– insufficient fresh air intake

Dr Glover explains: “Indoors you’ll find pollutants such as NOx and diesel particulates. Often at higher levels than outdoors. Mixed with VOCs like dust, carpet fibres, fungal spores, cleaning products, photocopy residues or building materials. These create a pretty unhealthy cocktail of contaminants.”

HVAC systems are the lungs of the building. Ensuring a consistent supply of fresh air and managing temperature and carbon-dioxide levels. However, they are also the number one cause of microbial contaminants and bad IAQ. This conflict presents a significant challenge.

Heat, moisture and nutrients make heat exchange coils in HVAC systems the perfect breeding ground for micro-organisms. They form biofilms on the heat exchange coil surface. This reduces heat exchange efficiency, and microbes are released into the building envelope which is detrimental to human health. It is the basis of Sick Building Syndrome

Are there solutions?

We always advocate proper maintenance of HVAC systems to avoid dust and microbe build-up and ensure optimal energy efficiency. Careful selection of components and a planned service regime are key.

Manual cleaning up to four times per year is a help. However, this can lead to damage of the delicate fins of the coils. Furthermore, in between cleans, the microbes build up and can cause odour.

In contrast, constant treatment with a low level of UV-C irradiation stops biofilms forming in the first place. This does not damage the coils either.  The return on investment can be as little as 12 months!

Dr Glover: “We are using plasma ionisation systems for supply air applications where there is a source of odour close by. For example, waste treatment sites, sewage treatment plant and also cattle sheds. We also use low pressure drop filters for NOx removal, especially in buildings located close to roads.”

A key aspect of any air treatment system is that, as well as being highly effective, it has a low pressure drop. Filters which add resistance could mean that a bigger fan is required to drive the air through the ventilation system. Or at least more energy is required to distribute the air. Traditional HEPA filters, for example, add significant pressure drop even when clean which makes retrofit difficult.

Dr Glover: “We are absolutely committed to doing all we can to manufacture cleaner, state of the art, solutions to clear the air.”

About Dr David Glover

Dr David Glover

Dr David Glover is a trusted pioneer of total air quality solutions for all commercial sectors. He brings a unique mix of experience and academic rigour to problem-solving. David provides expertise to designers, building services engineers and facilities managers across the UK and beyond.

In November 2019 he published a White Paper: “How Indoor Air Quality can contribute to a Happy and More Productive Workforce”. This is free to download at https://plasma-clean.com/products/indoor-air-quality/.

Plasma Clean – Total air quality solutions

Using latest plasma and UV-C technologies we create bespoke systems to monitor and improve IAQ with proven health and productivity benefits.

Contact us to set up an IAQ assessment:

+44 (0)161 870 2325

ask@plasma-clean.com

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How to prevent commercial kitchen ventilation going up in flames

The high volume of covers produced from busy commercial kitchens often means that high levels of grease are being produced. Significantly increasing the risk of fire. There are ways to reduce oil and grease in ductwork. However, some restaurants don’t consider this and it can have considerable impact on business.

Unfortunately this proved to be the case for a takeaway in South London. A fire caused by fat and grease in the extraction system catching alight. There were no reports of injuries. However, the extraction system was ‘completely destroyed’ and some timbers and electric cables also damaged.

PECKHAM TAKEAWAY FIRE ’CAUSED BY GREASE-CLOGGED EXTRACTOR FAN’

A spokesperson for the brigade said:

“Restaurant and takeaway owners should always take care to make sure their extraction systems are kept clean as a built up of fat and grease within the filters can lead to fire.”

At Plasma Clean we know that the fire risk associated with grease build up in kitchen ventilation systems is considerable, putting people nearby at serious risk of injury. We also know that when a suitable grease control provision is implemented, the risk can be significantly reduced.

Grease control in canopy

For this reason, Plasma Clean have developed the Coil Filter. A canopy mounted filter, which effectively collects oil and grease, helping to ensure kitchen extract ducts are kept clean.

The reduction in grease build up means:

  • less duct cleans
  • less disruption
  • by collecting grease and oil at the canopy stage, the fire risk is consequently reduced
Plasma Clean Coil Filter

Thankfully no one was hurt in the South London takeaway blaze. However the fire damage is expected to run up a huge bill for the restaurant. The closure will also have a significant impact on the takeaways revenue and its employees while it recovers.

This recent example demonstrates just how costly grease fires can be to a commercial kitchen. By implementing the correct solution, it is possible to dramatically reduce the risk of a grease fire before it takes hold.

By utilising Plasma Clean cutting edge solutions to combat kitchen grease, you should never have to worry about a grease fire.

TR19 inspection and cleaning

At Plasma Clean we endeavour to control grease and the fire risk associated with it. Therefore, we now offer nationwide TR19 inspection and complete duct cleaning service for commercial kitchen extraction systems.

TR19 is a standard defined by BESA, as a way to standardise duct and kitchen extract cleaning systems. It has become the standard to which most insurers and building engineering service sectors match when performing ductwork cleaning operations. Read more about this HERE

The new TR19® Grease specification for Fire Risk Management of Grease Accumulation within Kitchen Extraction Systems issued in July 2019 raises the standard for duct cleaning

TR19 is a comprehensive standard that details access mechanisms to ductwork, inspection mechanisms, cleaning processes and post-cleaning verification methods.

Contact us

If you would like more information about any of our products and services, then feel free to contact us to discuss your options:

ask@plasma-clean.com, +44 (0)161 870 2325

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Some of our Clients