The physical and chemical properties of chlorine dioxide outline below will unravel its amazing capabilities.
1. chlorine dioxide does not dissociate in water.
It stays as chlorine dioxide therefore its ability to operate as a disinfectant / sanitiser is independent of pH
2. chlorine dioxide is an oxidant with a low redox potential
It has a redox potential of +0.96 mV compared to chlorine of +1.36 mV. There is no relationship between redox and disinfecting efficacy
3. chlorine dioxide has a few specific chemical reactions
From this property a number of very interesting properties are derived:-
a. it has a very low toxicity rating, indeed some formulations have GRAS status. It is generally regarded as a " non - irritant "
b. it is not corrosive.
4. 4. chlorine dioxide has a very high efficacy against vegetative cells, for example, bacteria: fungi yeasts and molds}; viruses; algae; and protozoa. It has little to no effect on human, animal and fish cells
[ It has been shown to have high efficacy against mollusks and acracides with unconfirmed reports suggesting some action against nematodes ].
5. 5. from the above properties it is not surprising then to learn that " chlorine dioxide does not constitute a risk against the environment ".
The Alliance for Environmental Technology (AET), is a group of 19 North American chemical manufacturers and forest product companies, established to promote proven and practical technologies to raise the environmental awareness has indicated that the " environmental riks of a modern paper mill using chlorine dioxide are INSIGNIFICANT. "
6. 6. the low oxidation potential of chlorine dioxide means that it can penetrate biofilm and indeed chlorine dioxide has been proven as the MOST effective chemical against biofilm.
This has now been recognized by numerous organisations eg. Institute of Food Technologists in their report entitled " Microbial Attechment and Biofilm formation-A Scientific Summary , July '94 Food Technology. { It has been clinically demonstrated that the presence of biofilm is the critical step in the infection pathway of legionellosis. A simple and elegant solution is available in chlorine dioxide to overcome the problems related to having biofilm in a system. CAUTION, is advised when one is running a disinfection / sanitising programme during which one is eroding away the biofilm---- theory and practice are indeed different bed mates.}
7. 7. a peer review paper by Dr Tanner has shown that OXINE FP ( chlorine dioxide ) is a factor lower in dosage for the same efficacy against bacteria and fungi when compared against any other standard disinfectant like chlorine, iodine, bromine, hydrogen peroxide, quaternary ammonium compounds (QUATS), glutraladehyde, phenolics and peroxyacetic acid formulations.
8. 8. Finally, chlorine dioxide can be easily and accurately measured in the packhouse, at the farm or food plant. No other disinfectant / sanitiser can make this claim hence chlorine dioxide can easily meet GMP, HACCP, SQF or any other quality food safety management system for consistency of performance.
In conclusion, therefore we have a disinfectant / sanitiser which is an oxidant with few chemical reactions, no pH limitations, very low toxicity, worldwide approval for drinking water, very high efficacy against micro-organisms, has a strong and measurable residual. The product when applied will not corrode equipment, will not produce an environment harmful to workers or consumers.
Truly a wonderful product but it is not a magic bullet and it cannot solve all problems. We have examined the properties of chlorine dioxide that make it close to being the "ideal" biocide, however, the fact that it is a gas which cannot be compressed without exploding seemingly reduces its availability to be used. Chlorine Dioxide can be ' delivered ' to the user because it can be supplied in a number of forms which we describe below.
:: ClO2 Stabilised Application ::
Pre Harvest

:: Botrytis and powdery mildew control on table grapes and wine grapes
:: Black spot control on citrus
:: Control of phytophthora on citrus
:: Control of various leaf disease on fruit tree, vegetables
:: Botrytis control on onions, flowers
:: As a soil fumigant..
:: Treatment of irrigation water or fertigated water
:: Treatment of wet walls in greenhouses ( glasshouses)
:: For sanitising of equipment used in propagation of plants, footbaths, fogging for environmental control and as a hard surface sanitiser.
Post Harvest

:: As a post harvest drench in flume tanks, baths, recirculating spray systems, hydrocooling.
:: Increase in shelf -life of fruit, vegetables and flowers.
:: For the sanitising of cold rooms, equipment and environmental control through fogging
Other Applications

:: Treatment of drinking water.
:: Treatment of effluent and process water
:: Cooling water
:: Odour control in rendering plants
Cleaning of irrigation systems (Pivots and drip and micro and mainlines .