New eco-friendly dry air fogging solution eliminates need for formaldehyde

For decades, formaldehyde has been the UK industry standard to fumigate barns, now there's a new environmentally friendly option that's just as effective
calendar icon 10 May 2021
clock icon 5 minute read

For decades, formaldehyde has been the industry standard in the UK to fumigate barns, but it’s a dangerous chemical to handle that requires hazardous material (HAZMAT) gear when applying it.

“Because of the dangers, I’ve never applied formaldehyde myself - we have someone who comes in and fumigates to get rid of viruses, bacteria, salmonella, etc. that are potentially prevalent in our barns,” said an egg producer in the UK.

“The big problem with formaldehyde is that we have to wait two days post-treatment before we can get back in the building which causes problems because it delays everything, like repairs and maintenance that needs done ahead of a new flock arriving. It causes an even greater problem in the broiler industry. As a layer operator, I have more time between flocks, but broiler operations are on a much shorter turnaround because they're desperately trying to grow as many birds a year as possible. Every day the barn is empty is lost revenue.”

He said a two-day break is also quite difficult for the feed mill as their delivery team can't get onto the broiler site to deliver the feed while formaldehyde is potentially seeping out of the chicken shed since the feed bins are right next to the shed.

To solve this issue, Citadel Environmental Solutions have launched Biocat Electron+, a novel method to disinfect air and surfaces with no production downtime. Biocat Electron+ is a water-based solution that is dispersed as a dry air fine fog and achieves 100% air and surface coverage while killing 99.9% of pathogens.

Labeled as a biocide and sold in the UK, Biocat Electron+ is biodegradable, non-toxic and requires no PPE equipment for application. It uses electro-oxygenated water, dispersed by a cold-fogging device, to reduce the presence of microorganisms on hard surfaces and in the air.

“It works by pulling the electrons away from microbe’s membranes,” said Henry Madders, Managing Director at Citadel Environmental Solutions. “The virus or bacteria can't become immune or resistant to this agent because it kills each pathogen through a physical destruction of their membranes.”

On-farm test results show the pathogens eliminated include:

“The efficiency of no down time is the biggest economic factor with this product, but the level of safety Biocat Electron+ offers to me, my farm staff and the environment are incredibly important,” said the egg producer. “When I apply it, it takes 10 minutes for the fog to settle, and then you're back at it. I had people working at one end of the shed while I was finishing fogging at the other end. I’ve tested for pathogens after fogging and have found nothing. The rest is up to me – I need to manage the environment for the next 14 months through my biosecurity practices to ensure nothing gets brought into my birds.”

This product is also used to disinfect operations in veterinary practices, the medical industry including hospitals, commercial buildings and in the hospitality industry, showcasing its safety.

Sarah Mikesell


Sarah Mikesell grew up on a five-generation family farming operation in Ohio, USA, where her family still farms. She feels extraordinarily lucky to get to do what she loves - write about livestock and crop agriculture. You can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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