News & Events

Can Hydroxyl Generators Purify the Air?

Posted by Tom McArdle on 10/6/20

As time goes on, we grow increasingly more interested in how the earth cleanses itself of impurities in the air. Entire branches of science are devoted to understanding how the planet rids itself of environmental pollutants and how we can duplicate the natural process in our homes. 

What scientists have discovered is hydroxyl molecules play an incredibly crucial role in purifying the air in the earth’s atmosphere - and, lucky for us, that the process is able to be replicated in personal spaces. 

Why is Hydroxyl Important to Air Purification?

Hydroxyl molecules are critical in cleaning the atmosphere. The molecule reacts with nearly everything, which makes it a key player in removing harmful pollutants and organic compounds. According to the Environmental Health Center, hydroxyl is created when ultraviolet reaches the atmosphere nearest the earth’s surface. This leads to a fast reaction between hydroxyl ions and ultraviolet radiation, reducing methane, halocarbons, and other atmospheric pollutants. 

Overall, hydroxyl molecules are thought of as “the chemical scavengers of the atmosphere” (M. A. J. Khalil, Department of Physics, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon) - and without these molecules, the atmosphere would be full of organic pollutants and other toxins. 

What is Hydroxyl?


The standard definition of hydroxyl is “one hydrogen atom and one oxygen atom which does not typically exist in a stable form” (Atmospheric Chemistry Glossary, 2003 Version). Hydroxyl in the atmosphere is the photolysis of heat, light, hydrogen peroxide, and the attack on the water of oxygen radicals. 

Hydroxyl atoms reproduce rapidly, allowing the air purification process to happen at a faster rate than normal. 

When is Air Purification Needed?

The need for air purification isn’t only due to poor air quality from environmental causes. Situational reasons can lead to air purification as well

  • Fire is a main source of air pollution. After a fire, the air is filled with smoke, soot, and other pollutants, making it difficult and sometimes unsafe, to breathe. 
  • Water damage and flooding can cause mold and mildew to find their way into the air. Mold spores are especially dangerous if breathed in for any amount of time.
  • Large manufacturing plants produce chemicals and other air pollutants that are released into the atmosphere, causing toxins to linger in the air. 

How can Odorox® Help?

At Odorox® Hydroxyl Group, our specialty is in providing the right hydroxyl generator for the job at hand. We have several options available to professionals when it is necessary to start the air purification process for any reason. 

  • Our generators eliminate fire and smoke damage including smoke odors and air contaminants inside personal residents and commercial buildings. 
  • We’re known for handling category 2 and category 3 water losses. This includes anything from residential sewage flooding to large commercial flooding. 
  • In commercial buildings like schools, hospitals, retails stores, etc. our generators are used to remove air pollutants related to chemicals caused by heavy machinery.

We offer full support and training for all of our products. We’re standing by to help you choose the right generator for the size of your building and the type of problem you’re experiencing. Call us today for more information.



Topics: Ask the Expert