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Environmental Protection & Preservation

Water That Behaves Like a Powerful Detergent, Without Adding Chemicals

Tennant Company, a world leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer world, today unveiled ech2o (pronounced "echo"), a breakthrough cleaning technology that electrically activates plain tap water, making it behave like a powerful detergent without any added chemicals. ech2o offers significant customer advantages including lower costs, ease of use and improved operator safety plus an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional cleaning methods. ech2o's cleaning effectiveness is proven to be the same or better than general purpose cleaners, without the negative environmental impact and health issues associated with producing, packaging, transporting, using and disposing of traditional cleaning chemicals. ech2o begins as water and ends as water.

"Our new ech2o technology is a category-changing advancement for the cleaning industry, and delivers on our goal to offer cleaning solutions that lower cost-of-use, improve health and safety and are more environmentally friendly. By changing the properties of plain tap water, ech2o enables it to clean as well as, or better than, traditional chemical-based cleaners. It virtually eliminates any negative impact the cleaning process may have on our natural environment," said Chris Killingstad, Tennant Company's president and chief executive officer. "We are very excited to be the first in our market with electrically activated water. We see great potential for this technology in our current markets and potential new markets."

ech2o technology will be available on Tennant and Nobles branded floor scrubbers as early as this fall 2007. Sales of ech2o-equipped machines are expected to ramp in the spring of 2008, according to Killingstad.

ech2o is another step in Tennant Company's evolution from providing floor cleaning and coating solutions toward developing 'beyond the floor' cleaning applications and expanding into new markets. While similar technology is currently in use in some niche applications within food processing, water purification, medical device and other industries, Tennant Company is the first to introduce it for commercial cleaning.

How ech2o Works

The ech2o technology has multiple patents pending. The system works by unlocking the vast amounts of energy stored in the water molecule H2O. This is accomplished through a special ech2o unit that is installed in a Tennant Company floor-cleaning machine.

Inside the unit, two primary steps transform normal tap water into a powerful cleaning solution. In the first step, water passes through electrified screens in the oxygenation chamber, creating highly oxygenated micro-bubbles. In the second step, the oxygenated water is sent through a water cell where an electric current is applied. Flowing out of the water cell is highly charged, acidic and alkaline water with all the attributes of a powerful cleaner. In this activated state, ech2o is an effective cleaning agent that poses no harm to the surfaces or finishes it cleans, or to people using the technology.

The electrically charged water attacks the dirt, breaks it into smaller particles and suspends it off the floor's surface-enabling the scrubber's pads or brushes to easily remove the soil. Approximately 45 seconds after it was created, the cleaning solution returns to plain H2O. What is left in the recovery tank is just plain water and dirt. In this process, 100 percent of the water used reverts to neutral tap water and can be handled and disposed of safely.

"Our tests found that Tennant Company's new ech2o cleaning solution performs as well as other general purpose cleaners," said Mark Citsay, of Aspen Research, St. Paul, Minn., a research laboratory that tested and verified the effectiveness of cleaning with ech2o.

Among ech2o's additional benefits, it uses 70 percent less water than traditional cleaning methods. Since no detergents are added to the ech2o system, ech2o does not leave slippery detergent residue on the floor, nor does it release used detergent discharge into water systems. Further, eliminating the need for chemical additives enhances worker safety and reduces costs for purchasing and disposal of chemicals.

Tennant Company is the first in its industry to harness the power of water for cleaning hard-floor surfaces and to use the technology on a mobile platform, such as ride-on and walk-behind floor scrubbing machines. The company plans to make its patent-pending processing unit available on several models of its cleaning machine platforms.

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