Ozone kills bacteria in cutting fluid

To eradicate bacteria in cutting fluid, toxic biocides are used which will soon be banned in the EU. Thanks to an innovative entrepreneur and an old discovery, it is now possible to kill bacteria with ozone instead.

Ivan Olsen, mechanical engineer and entrepreneur, has worked for a long time on developing and selling packaging machines to the food industry. About ten years ago, he came into contact with partners from the US and Australia who had been investigating a 200 year old discovery that ozone can kill bacteria. 

Micromixer kills bacteria

Together, they expanded on the theory and developed a method which uses a micromixer.  Large ozone bubbles produced by an ozone generator are broken down to a diameter of less than one thousandth of a millimetre and mixed with cutting fluid. The bubbles rise through the fluid and the ozone is consumed as it reacts with, and kills, the bacteria.

Ivan contacted potential customers and researchers who could test and confirm that the method worked. Not only in a laboratory, but out in the real world.

Reduced use of biocides

In a research project with Chalmers, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Swerea, and others, the researchers proved the method works. According to a life-cycle analysis, the method also reduced the environmental impact caused by the use of biocides, despite the increased use of oxygen and energy. Ivan will soon be retiring and hopes that someone will take over the baton.

"This is a valuable concept that deserves to be utilised," urges Ivan, who personally invested heavily to see his invention come to fruition. Ivan has a vision:

"Someone takes over, further develops and manufactures the machine so that it can be widely used. This will limit the spread of toxicants in the industry."