No annual costs and low electricity use.

Ozone is known and used in the horticultural industry for the treatment of water and clearing out water systems – but in other industries, it’s also a proven tool for odor control. Why not make that application suitable for cannabis greenhouses? This is what the Total Energy Group team asked themselves, and decided to create it. “Great benefit of the Airculess ACT is that it doesn’t only mitigate the odor compounds significantly, but it also has a beneficial effect in reducing pests and powdery mildew”, says James Whalen, Technical Sales Manager.

General Manager Dennis van Alphen explains how there are currently two types of solutions available for growers: a vapor-based solution, which adds oils or other compounds to the air to mask the cannabis smell; and filters, which actively remove odor compounds from the air.

“Both can be costly: you have to renew the carbon filters or the oils, as they degrade over time.”

A photo of James Whalen and Dennis van Alphen
James Whalen & Dennis van Alphen
Serious problem

Since Total Energy Group is based in Carpinteria, CA, Dennis knows how serious this problem is. “We smell it every day. Companies are required to do something for odor control. Yet, up until last year, it was mainly the oil solution, which essentially only masks the smell. It’s like spraying Febreeze”, he chuckles but adds that neighboring houses have filed over 500 complaints in Santa Barbara only. “They smell it 24 hours per day, it’s a serious problem.” At the same time, Dennis is also aware that many growers in the region work with an older power infrastructure. “So, it was important to develop a solution that has low energy usage.”

“New research has shown that cannabis odor originates from thiolbased compounds, a naturally occurring organosulfur. These thiols, next to terpenes, are the main factor of odor nuisance in cannabis cultivation”, James says. The chosen option for the Airculess, using UV and ozone, allows for efficient and effective destruction of thiols and terpenes. It is a proven technique from the poultry and pig industry that is adapted for the cannabis market. “The Airculess uses a precise ozone instrument in combination with a powerful UV source. Ambient air is being treated at both stages and mixed back in the growing area. Due to the purpose-designed calibration and integration of both instruments, the Airculess ACT is capable of mitigating the odor compounds significantly. This means that we can treat higher air volume at almost no electricity costs.”

Mitigating solution

The Airculess can easily be installed above the crop, meaning it also allows for the destruction of airborne pathogens. “The combination of UV and Ozone also has an effect on pest reduction and mildew. The UV breaks down the pathogens’ DNA and sterilizes the population. The ozone will actively react with mold mildew.”

Dennis explains how the Airculess, like all solutions in the market, is not eliminating the odor. “It’s a mitigating solution. There’s no eliminating product on the market currently and everybody selling that is overpromising things they cannot deliver. The main benefits of the Airculess are that it’s easy to install, works on low electricity with low operational costs since there’s no need to buy annual consumables, and plus it benefits the plants. With such a proposition, we’re sure to help many growers.”

For more information:

James Whalen 
Total Energy Group