Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ozonating Underground Spaces

I got my ozone generator unit (3 liters a minute, 500 Sq ft treatment) and I am wiring it for remote control and monitoring via Vault-OS.

This was part of my grand slam plan for this year - to annihilate the mold, mildew and fungus, completely waterproof the entrances and sterilize the interior of Firehold Bravo and Sparkgap pursuant to reinstalling Vault-OS automation, moving my new food rotation down there and getting my shelter ready for long term inhabitation at a moment's notice.

A terrific thing about ozone generators is that the same generator can be used to treat water or to treat the air, simply by using valves. Bubbling ozone through water storage at regular intervals is an excellent way to keep your H2O pure and sterile.

For general purification of living space, O3 cannot be topped. It turns so many different bad things into good or neutral things it is difficult to list them all. Basically, ozone takes environments that may be less than optimum for humans and makes them optimal.

It's just important to remember that ozonation of air should be done with humans absent. The oxidation that is part of ozonation can be harmful to lungs, throat, eyes and blood in concentration. As a strategy for keeping underground shelters ready, it should be employed at regular intervals when the shelter is unoccupied. Flooding the shelter with ozone and then waiting for it to stabilize into inert solids guarantees the resulting environment will be abiotic when the time comes for you to move down there. There is extensive evidence that during the Cold War, all nuclear shelters that were staffed full time had ozone strategies that were employed by closing off parts of the shelter temporarily, pumping ozone into them and then moving personnel back in the day afterwards to keep their surroundings healthy.

When you read about private civil defense over the past sixty years, this subject comes up again and again as "the reason the shelter became uninhabitable." Mold and mildew, fungus and spores proliferate in darkness and damp. You can't plan for the longer term as a Vault Dweller until you conquer this part of the equation and the key is through ozonation.


Anonymous said...

Tex, a practical mold and germ removal method is to take a 10 liter garden sprayer, fill 3/4 with water, add 500 ml bleach and add 500 ml white vinegar. The vinegar lowers the pH, and changes the equilibrium of the chlorine compounds, 5x more effective. Spray down the inside of your vault, etc. The vapors will also be effective. Wear a surplus gas mask to protect yourself. This method works well also in nasty-old-buildings, basements, flood damage, rehabs, etc. (Don't mix the bleach and the vinegar directly; add to the water.)

Anonymous said...

My understanding,is that one must use an oxygen tank to feed the generator otherwise you get a 'strange' ozone..It has been a while
since I dabbled with ozone,after learning of my misknowlege I no longer used my non O2 fed device.
BTW good blog,,

"The ethnic upsurge in America, far from being unique, partakes of the global fever."

Texas Arcane said...

Anon 11:24 AM

I have already tried chemical strategies at least three times. Judging from my experience, bleach guarantees the mold when it returns (in about two weeks after spraying) will be worse than the original mold.

Bleach doesn't do it for these kinds of environments, it's not effective at getting everywhere. If you kill 99% of the mold by applying it, a single nanoscopic crack you missed will produce a super fungus that will completely fill the shelter in just a few weeks to take the place of the one you killed.

Anon 12:39

You're right, with an oxygen deficit you get a particularly nasty brand of ozone very unsuitable for human exposure. It's also very deadly to the bacteria, viruses, mold, mildew, fungus and spores down there. Fortunately ozone breaks down very quickly when bottled up into inert oxidized products that appears as a white film of dust. The best way to do this is to flood the shelter on automated timer and then let it "sit" in there for a while. The resulting environment will be absolutely odorless and sterile.

It was talked about for the international space station to get rid of their space fungus, but unfortunately in space you can't just step outside while the ozone generator is running.

Anonymous said...

I admit chlorine has downsides: bleach is wet, and mold needs moisture, so bleach-based remediation is better in already-damp situations. Wetness of course is problematic on installed electrics, another downside. But lowering the pH really ups the free-chlorine component, and, supposedly dense enough chlorine gas will even neutralize anthrax spores.

Other methods: Dryness. Lower the humidity. Mold needs two things to live: moisture and food.

Try sealing the surfaces of your shelter perhaps with a two-part epoxy paint system (most chemically stable, but chalks on exposure to UV light, but that won't be a problem underground).

Mix in 5 grams pure thiabendazole per 4 liters paint.(Usually sold 50% paste form, so 10g). Maybe it's hard to get there. Inhibits mold growth on such surfaces.

Anonymous said...

Tex, I've forgotten your systems for liquid water, humidity, and temperature. The starting point would (of course) be a power-hungry stand-alone de-humidifier.

Drys the air.
Warms the underground coolness (hopefully not too much).
Produces liters of pure drinking water per X unit time.

Dryness is vital to suppress the mold. Moisture always finds a way inside, and each human body inside will likely be out-gassing 4 or 6 liters of water vapor each day. Plus evaporation from open liquids, cooking, etc.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any updated pics of your shelter. Also what would you have done diffrent when building your shelter. What has the temp been inside of your shelter. Have you tought about using a dehumidifier to work on your air quality problem. Thanks from east of Austin TX

Texas Arcane said...

My plan for long term inhabitation has been identical to the one I have read about that was used during the Cold War in shelter spaces.

I have a dehumidifier in the shelter I run regularly but it can't kill mold once it's gotten a foothold. It's good for maintenance but once you've got humans in there, you will eventually have problems.

Every month or so, the family will move into one component of the shelter, we will flood that sealed empty region with ozone gas, wait for it to become inert and then re-enter. This will keep an underground space almost as sterile as a hospital and ozone generation is one of the cheapest and least demanding of electrical power compared to alternatives.

Another good reason to put a thin client everywhere in the shelter that can command the whole from that terminal even when you can't enter there at the moment. I can't help but wonder what kind of thin clients they used in 1968. Maybe a dumb terminal.

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering, do you think that it would be a beneficial idea to ozonate a food store room? Just from the perspective of bugs and the likes?

Texas Arcane said...

Definitely, if your food is sealed up in mylar bags with oxy absorbers.

I suspect that mold in a room migrates into containers over the years, invisibly, changing the taste and texture of food. Killing everything in food storage assures a sterile environment outside and inside the container, preventing mildew from advancing anywhere.