|CHALLENGE||Restaurants have been tasked with adhering to COVID-era mandates that require them to create socially distanced, well-ventilated, outdoor dining areas without compromising quality and comfort.|
|COMPLICATIONS||Viral concerns, unhealthy air quality, and extreme heat have compounded the food industry’s efforts to provide sustainable outdoor dining options.|
|BENEFIT||In addition to lowering localized atmospheric temperatures from prevailing heat waves, Koolfog mist and fog systems integrate air-scrubbing technology with high-pressure evaporative cooling solutions to help clean the atmosphere while capturing potentially harmful particulate matter.|
California’s restaurants are currently in a race to survive through an unprecedented pandemic, a record-breaking heatwave, and hazardous wildfire smoke pollution. While there is no one solution to combat the looming obstacles these restaurateurs face, many establishments such as Mexico Lindo in El Dorado Hills, California have installed Koolfog misters to combat environmental factors in order to fill their outdoor patio seats with customers.
More Than Just Misters
Environmental factors will always come into play in outdoor settings, as humans can’t control the weather. There are countless reports on the applications of misters to lower temperatures during hot weather. People tend to frequent those outdoor dining venues that have implemented misters to cool and comfort guests during their dining experience. In addition to providing a comfortable setting for customers to enjoy a meal outdoors, restaurateurs have found that investing in misters can help them utilize more outdoor space and seat more patrons.
Koolfog Mist and Fog Systems Capture Potentially Harmful Particulate Matter
We’ve all been inundated with data chronicling the importance of mitigating the risk COVID-19 viral exposure with warnings to social-distance, wear a mask, and wash our hands frequently. Even with these on-going precautions, there are no guarantees that infection will be stifled. However, one positive reason for implementing a Koolfog mist and fog system indicates that there is a potential air-scrubbing solution that reduces airborne respiratory droplets. In effect, misters have the ability to attract and agglomerate with other airborne particles. This is a well-known concept that Koolfog clients have adopted in industrial settings and activities that require controlling dust and other airborne particles.
Koolfog produces millions of small 1-100 μm fog particles that agglomerate with airborne particles to form larger particles. Since larger particles fall out of the air significantly faster than smaller particles, this has direct implications for providing an “air scrubbing” purpose in outdoor spaces where airborne respiratory droplets are present. Much like rain droplets cleaning the atmosphere as demonstrated in a 2015 study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Ardon-Dryer, K., Huang, Y.-W., and Cziczo, D. J)5 the coagulation of water particles may be extrapolated to predict Koolfog’s potential for cleaning the air of airborne respiratory droplets.
Controlling Air Quality with Koolfog Misters
It is with this same supposition that Koolfog mist and fog systems can enhance air quality by capturing unhealthy particulate matter, scrubbing pollutants from the immediate atmosphere.
Smoke is composed primarily of carbon dioxide, water vapor, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, hydrocarbons and other organic chemicals, nitrogen oxides, trace minerals, and several thousand other compounds. The actual composition of smoke depends on the fuel type, the temperature of the fire, and the wind conditions. Different types of wood and vegetation are composed of varying amounts of cellulose, lignin, tannins, and other polyphenolics, oils, fats, resins, waxes, and starches, which produce different compounds when burned.
Particulate matter is the principal pollutant of concern from wildfire smoke for the relatively short-term exposures (hours to weeks) typically experienced by the public. Particulate matter is a generic term for particles suspended in the air, typically as a mixture of both solid particles and liquid droplets. (Source: www3.epa.gov; Wildfire Smoke: A Guide For Public Health Officials)
In a restaurant patio setting, misters create a vapor-like tent that can filter out unhealthy smoke particles. This bubble effect gives micro-sized pollutants more weight and purportedly drops them to the ground. This “wet deposition” of respiratory droplets by Koolfog’s ultra-fine fog is a potential application for outdoor and semi-enclosed spaces that do not have a practical means of cleaning the air using filters, UV, or other mechanical systems designed for indoor spaces. With professional and proper design and installation, misters can mitigate the risk of heat stress while capturing potentially hazardous pathogens and pollutants.
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