A naturally potent biocide

Eco-Lyte is an environmentally-friendly disinfectant that eliminates pathogens. Gerhard Uys spoke to Rowan McDonald, chief technical officer at ECA Technologies Africa, about the new technology.

A naturally potent biocide
Eco-Lyte solutions can be integrated with existing systems, including fogging and irrigation pumps.
Photo: Gerhard Uys
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ECA Technologies Africa specialises in providing agricultural markets with eco-friendly cleaning solutions. The company manufactures water treatment solutions that are produced by passing salt and water through the envirolyte system, a patented electronic reactor, in a process called electrochemical activation (EA). The process produces anolyte and catholyte (trading as Eco-Lyte), powerful disinfectants that eliminate viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.

Eliminates all pathogens, yet leaves no residue
According to Rowan McDonald, chief technical officer at ECA, the EA process mimics the human body’s defence mechanisms. When a virus or other external organism enters the body, the body releases a compound chemical, hypochlorous acid (HOCl). This weak acid is a combination of water, salt and electricity.
Eco-Lyte solutions also contain HOCl, and can thus be described as natural, anti-microbial solutions.

Eco-Lyte has a pH of between 5,5 and 7,5, and can eliminate all pathogens and other biological contaminants during food production processes. As the EA process leaves no chemical residue, Eco- Lyte products are safe for use on products for human and livestock consumption. Flexibility is a key feature of Eco-Lyte.

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The biocide can be introduced directly into irrigation systems by metered dosing, applied directly to surfaces for sterilisation, or added to the water used for post-harvest pathogen control. Eco-Lyte eradicates biofilm in pipes or on surfaces, as well as mould and fungi without the toxic effects of harsh chemicals.

In greenhouses, Eco-Lyte can be applied through standard misting systems for controlling humidity, and can be used to successfully treat powdery mildew.

“In instances where we have treated powdery mildew, we found that by using Eco-Lyte, we managed to completely stop the growth of the fungus,” McDonald says.

Customised for an unlimited supply
Installed on a farm, the envirolyte system can produce enough Eco-Lyte for use in the treatment of potable water and effluent, as well as to replace other disinfectants previously purchased for sanitising hands and utensils.

ECA Technologies can customise industrial users’ onsite envirolyte systems so that they have an unlimited supply of the biocide. The technology can be integrated with existing systems such as fogging and irrigation pumps.

Email Rowan McDonald at [email protected].

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Gerhard Uys grew up as a real city lad, but spends his free time hiking and visiting family farms. He learnt the journalism trade as a freelance writer and photographer in the lifestyle industry, but having decided that he will be a cattle farmer by the age of 45 he now indulges his passion for farming by writing about agriculture. He feels Farmer’s Weekly is a platform for both developed and emerging farmers to learn additional farming skills and therefore takes the job of relaying practical information seriously.