H1N1 Virus Can Be Killed by Acidic Ozone Water

H1N1 Virus Can Be Killed by Acidic Ozone Water
Scientists have found that acidic ozone water can effectively kill H1N1 viruses, with the advantages that it leaves no environmentally harmful residue and is inexpensive to prepare. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists have found that acidic ozone water can deactivate H1N1 viruses very effectively, offering a promising disinfectant for the millions of people trying to avoid the disease. Acidic ozone water (AOW) is made from regular tap water mixed with a small amount of acid such as hydrochloric acid, along with an ozonized gas that can be produced in the lab. After deactivating the virus, the substance eventually decays into plain water, leaving no residue or harmful materials in the environment.

Scientists Han Uhm of Ajou University in Korea, along with Kwang Lee and Baik Seong of Yonsei University in Korea, have published the results of their study on the H1N1 in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters. Besides being environmentally benign, AOW also has the advantage that it may cost significantly less to prepare compared with chemical disinfectants.

During the past several months, H1N1 has infected thousands of people worldwide and has proven to be a highly contagious disease. Attempts to combat the disease have included preventative vaccines and the use of disinfectants to prevent the spread of the disease. However, most of these disinfectants have chemicals that can harm the environment.

In the current study, the researchers found that they could make neutral water acidic by mixing a very small amount of hydrochloric acid into the water. Adding just 22 grams of hydrochloric acid to one ton of neutral water can change the pH value of the water from 7 to 4. As the scientists explain, the negative chlorine ions have a sterilizing effect on viruses, and a strong acidity in general also has a sterilizing effect.

Although acidic water itself can partially inactivate the H1N1 virus, the scientists also added an ozone gas concentration of more than 10 mg/liter to the water to enhance the effect. All the viruses were killed after five minutes of mixing the acidic ozone water with about 430,000 viruses in the environment.

When observing the number of viruses killed in a given time, the researchers found that the acidic ozone water had a synergic effect, outperforming the sum of the individual effects of acidic water and ozone water. Part of the reason for the enhanced sterilization is that, while ozone decays over time due to impurities, the acidification of water slows the decay, prolonging the time of disinfection.

In another experiment, the researchers found that E. coli cells treated with acidic ozone water at pH 4 and an ozone concentration of 20 mg/liter destroyed the cell envelopes. Based on this observation, the scientists speculate that acidic ozone water may work by destroying the H1N1 virus envelopes, disabling their ability to establish an infection.

“Most of the virus inactivation experiments in our lab have been conducted using the host cells for viruses,” Uhm told PhysOrg.com. “The host cells used were the cells from advanced animals like green monkey kidney cells, human cells, or egg cells. These cells are breeding well even after the exposure to acidic ozone water. Meanwhile, the microbe cells are killed very effectively by AOW. I believe that some kinds of antioxidant in the advanced cells may protect the cells from ozone attack. But the microbe without the antioxidant may be destroyed by the strong oxidation activity of ozone in AOW.”

Uhm added that the AOW could be used in a variety of areas to avoid the spread of H1N1.

“AOW may be abundantly available due to its easy preparation,” he said. “I am not an industrialist, but a scientist. I do not have any specific plan to make it available by myself, but some capable people may do. The AOW may be useful in hospitals, in livestock industries, in dairy farms, in seafood industries, or in agriculture. I initially studied the AOW for protection of mankind from an attack of bio weapons.”

More information: Han S. Uhm, Kwang H. Lee, and Baik L. Seong. “Inactivation of H1N1 viruses exposed to acidic ozone .” Applied Physics Letters 95, 173704 (2009).

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Citation: H1N1 Virus Can Be Killed by Acidic Ozone Water (2009, November 9) retrieved 18 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-11-h1n1-virus-acidic-ozone.html
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User comments

Nov 09, 2009
Ok so I'm supposed to drink hydrochloric acid if I caught AH1N1? disinfection of surfaces is only part of the problem.

Nov 09, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Nov 09, 2009
Ok so I'm supposed to drink hydrochloric acid if I caught AH1N1? disinfection of surfaces is only part of the problem.

You're not drinking hydrochloric acid, nor do you drink any to stop H1N1. The article states that sterilizing the neutral water destroys the virus and leaves cells unharmed.

Do not drink hydrochloric acid if you become sick with the flu.

Nov 09, 2009
How about if I pour a little vinegar into my humidifier, then run my air cleaner with the ion generator turned on?

Nov 10, 2009
The procedure is a DESINFECTANT not a cure. You don't swallow desinfectant when you get sick with other stuff, do you? Why would you do so with H1N1?

Desinfectants can be used in hospitals and public places to avoid the spread of the disease. There's no point in using it in your home unless you suspect someone in your household already has a H1N1 infection.

Nov 10, 2009
I'm pretty ignorant about chemistry so here is a stupid question, where is alcohol on this spectrum? It is used in those gel hand cleaners. I've noticed the labeling to say that it kills 99% of the germs (being bacteria?) but no comment on viruses.

Nov 10, 2009
Apparently, AOW is cheaper and less invasive to the senses than alcohol. Since it's ozonated, it probably evaporates relatively quickly in comparison. I would trust AOW more than Lysol anyday. And any farm, health clinic, hospital, school, stores or any other public place can make it cheaply.

Nov 13, 2009
Pure vinegar and dilute HCL may not differ that much in pH. Vinegar is 2.4 or very acidic. Therefore vinegar in ionizer makes a lot of sense especially if the ionizer produces some oxone.
The article is, I believe non talking about drinking something it is talking about cleaning surfaces or an aerosol. A disinfectant cleans surfaces.

Nov 13, 2009
AOW in a humidifier is a good idea. You would be helping clean the air if the virus. You cannot know if someone has or does not have the virus in your home. You are preventing its spread in case some does. Yes we are talking about hygiene and prevention.

Nov 15, 2009
Using vineager in your air humidifier as a precaution is idiotic (apart from probably wrecking the apparatus).

a) Viral infections do not spread with a single virus. Your immune system has the capability to (unspecifically) shield you against viruses unless they are there in large concentration (like an infected person coughing in your face -as seen in the picture- or you picking it up from a place where the infected person has left some bodily fluids). Individual viruses floating on the air will NOT make you sick.

b) pH value is a logarithmic scale. HCL (fully concentrated) has a pH value of -1 while vinegar has a pH value of 2.4
That means that HCL is about 250 times more acidic than vinegar. Vinegar will not kill a H1N1 virus.

Nov 15, 2009
Do a google search for 'MMS' and 'Jim Humble'. What you will find is that specific things can be done in a simple way to kill just about any viri that may attempt to enter and cause issue in the human body, including Ebola, pneumonias, basically anything that affects the body and is a biological living parasite or contaminant that feeds off the body in a non-symbiotic way.

The kicker: $0.05 per single dose/cure. Malaria, just about anything you can imagine dies for this '5 cents' cure. That--per dose- cured. I've tried playing with it for the past year. I've allowed myself to pick up differing flus and pneumonia, ~PURPOSELY~, in order to check on this so-called efficacious simple cure. It works wonderfully.

Look into it.

Nov 19, 2009
Since when can you 'kill' something that is not alive?
The article's authors do not make that error: they, properly, use the term 'deactivate' , as should PhysOrg here... Otherwise, you are rewriting science according to unrecognized rules.

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