Kory Bio Co.
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Environmentally-friendly Silver-ion Sterilization Cartridge for Humidifiers

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Kory Bio Co.

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  • Place of Origin: Japan



1. Overview of sterilization-ball cartridge in humidifier


To manage dry indoor air in winter, a humidifier is frequently used in homes and offices. Unless the humidifier is properly maintained, however, it can cause disease. The Korea Consumer Agency has found the presence of microbes that can cause lung disease or allergies in children or the elderly with weak immune systems through the use of humidifiers.


These microbes include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can even cause sepsis, laryngopharyngitis-associated pneumobacillus, Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause purulent disease, and allergy/asthma-causing germs.


According to the government agency, more microbes were detected in the transducer than in a bucket of water. The humidifier was cleaned once a week or less.


The environmentally-friendly sterilization ball cartridge addresses this problem once it has been impregnated around the ultrasonic transducer.


With strong sterilization effect, it removes slimly biofilms and scale around the ultrasonic transducer. In terms of indoor air, if it is impregnated around the transducer, AgO- is emitted via a mist and removes harmful microbes and fine particles in the air. As a result, the cleaner air prevents respiratory diseases.


In addition, activated water (small cluster) prevents rust or scales from forming and makes cleaning easy. In addition, it keeps the skin moist and healthy.


Because of these effects, the humidifier can go longer between cleanings and children or the elderly with weak immune systems stay healthy.


Even super-bacteria have been eliminated in the sterilization ball test.


2. What is a ‘silver-ion sterilization ball’?

 Special inorganic compounds are coated on the surface of the ceramic, which is then fired at a high temperature. This sterilizes harmful pathogens in the water by 99.9% with no use of toxic chemicals.


With the environmentally-friendly sterilization ball, AgO- erupts in 2.054 angstrom (10 times finer than nano), which makes the sterilizing water more powerful. It is bonded with and hardens the cellular membranes of all germs.


In addition, special energy generated in the sterilization ball activates water and increases dissolved oxygen and negative ion levels. This new environmentally-friendly material manages biofilm, rust and scale problems. 


It has passed strict standards such as toxicity tests and has been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a water-treatment product (environmentally-friendly sterilizer).


Currently, it is used in water purifier sterilization filters, cooling tower sterilization systems and industrial humidifier (air washer) sterilization systems as an environmentally-friendly sterilization filter.


3. How the sterilization ball sterilizes


A) Sterilization mechanism


The special ceramic sterilization ball is coated with silver oxide and fired at high temperatures. As a result, a new material (AgO-) with strong sterilization power is continuously produced in water. This material sterilizes germs by bonding with their cellular membranes.


According to a report by the School of Applied Chemistry of Seoul National University, the new material (AgO-) emitted from the sterilization ball is 100-200 times stronger than AgNO3 and Ag2O in terms of sterilization effects. As a result, it can sterilize pathogens (legionella, E. coli, dysentery bacillus, Vibrio, etc.) in water and removes biofilm.


As shown in the figure above, the silver compound is applied to the ball under exact conditions to emit AgO- instead of Ag+. In addition, it is also designed to emit far infra rays with high emissivity.


According to School of Applied Chemistry of Seoul National University, this new material has shown an extremely powerful sterilizing effect with even a tiny amount (0.05ppm) (dissolved oxygen saturation concentration: 0.05ppm). In particular, the environmentally-friendly sterilization ball can continue sterilizing water in a circulating system even with a small amount so that it generates great effects in large amounts such as in cooling-water sterilization.


B) Sterilization capabilities


The sterilization power of the environmentally-friendly sterilization ball has been tested by various institutions, and similar results have been obtained among them. The test results are as follows:


Table 1  Sterilization Effect of Sterilization Ball over Time

                               (MICROID)                      (Unit: %)                                                                   


E. coli


Vibrio vulnificus


Shigella sonnei


Legionella pneumophila


0 min.





30 min.


> 99.9



3 hr.

> 99.9

> 99.9

> 99.9

> 99.9


Table 2 Sterilization Effect of Sterilization Ball over Time

             (Institute of Microbiology of Seoul National University)     (Unit: %)


E. coli

Vibrio vulnificus

Legionella pneumophila

0 min.




30 min.




3 hr.




6 hr.




12 hr.




24 hr.





Table 3 Sterilization Effect According to Test on Small Amount (Two Sterilization Balls) (Korea Environment & Water Works Institute)


E. coli (cfu/ml)

Removal Rate (%)

0 min.

1.1 × 104


30 min.

6.0 × 103


1 hr.

4.4 × 103


3 hr.

2.2 × 102




Test and removal of super bacteria, dysentery bacillus, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, Candida, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, etc.

 D) Toxicity test


To analyze the materials generated by the environmentally-friendly sterilization ball and determine if they have toxicity that can affect human health, a test was conducted by the Korea Testing & Research Institute for Chemical Industry (KOTRIC) and the Korea Environment & Water Works Institute. Testing investigation included whether or not they met 45 clauses of drinking water quality standards as well as 13 new clauses.



Tested by 




Feb.2002, 100g sterilization ball (15mm), 200 RPM, mix for 20 hours, test in 48 hours / Korea Drinking Water Quality Standard Method

Meets 45 clauses of drinking water quality standards

Korea Environment & Water Works Institute

Mar. 2002, 25g sterilization ball (15mm) (5 balls), mix and leave for 24 hours then test / Korea Drinking Water Quality Standard Method

Meets 45 clauses of drinking water quality standards and 13 new clauses



  Biofilm removal capabilities with environmentally-friendly sterilization ball


1. Properties and effect of biofilm


Biofilm is a collection of microbial communities that adhere to the surface after bonding with microbes in the water. It is by polymers. The binding material is produced from the organic polymer that is created and emitted by the microbes that comprise the biofilm. This is called the Extracellular Polymer Substance (EPS).


The biofilm residue blocks heat in a heat transfer system. According to one study, the thermal conductivity of biofilm is as low as 25%, compared to calcium carbonate of the same thickness.


In general, cooling tower manufacturers design products to operate at 0.005ppm. This figure is close to the thickness of calcium carbonate (0.006 inch). In fact, it increases the use of compressor energy (5.3%). Compared to the same thickness of scale, biofilm increases energy consumption by 21.5%.


For these reasons, a filler with high efficiency uses 70s and 80s. According to the technical data suggested at the Cooling Technology Institute (CTI) Annual Conference, microbial pollution is the major cause of filler pollution.


According to the study, because of the mixture of microbial pollution and sludge, weight reached 14.8 pound/ft3 (28.3L) over 42 days. It has been concluded that filler clogging would not be prevented with the treatment of sludge only.


In addition, biofilm can form an environment favorable for the propagation of legionella. This germ can cause serious issues for water-treatment systems such as cooling towers, baths, hot springs, showers and groceries.


Therefore, it is critical to develop an effective strategy for biofilm treatment and control in water-treatment systems.



2. Biofilm removal by the environmentally-friendly sterilization ball


Water treated by the sterilization ball has a superior sterilizing power so that it can prevent the propagation of bacteria, the major cause of biofilm formation. In fact, strong solvency enhances the decomposition of organic matter and prevents the organic matter from condensing.


The photos below are the results of a field study on the removal of biofilm for one (1) month in cooperation with ‘B’ Corporation. Before the sterilization ball was installed in the upper fill of the cooling tower, enough biofilm had formed to cause issues with operation, needing removal by machine or by hand.


For the test, however, the conventional cooling water of the cooling tower was replaced with new water. After installing sterilization water, the biofilm of the cooling tower fill was completely removed in one (1) month. No biofilm has formed since that time. Therefore, no separate cost for removal of biofilm has been incurred.


 Before Installation of Sterilization Ball       One (1) Month After the Sterilization Ball was Installed



Research Institute

Advanced Oxidation & Photochemical Reaction Research Lab,

School of Engineering & Applied Science of Seoul National University



Table 12 below describes the results of a test on legionella with a firm that installed the sterilization ball in a cooling tower. According to the analysis, this germ was not detected in any of the cooling towers, which means that the sterilization ball can prevent legionella from re-growing regardless of whether or not it existed in the beginning.


Table 12 Sterilization Ball-adopted Firms and Applications

Date Supplied (2002) 


Results (Legionella) 

Apr. 20

Suwon Plant of Haitai Dairy

NOT detected (May 3)

May 14

Hwaseong Plant of BOLAK CO., LTD.

Biofilm removed

May 27

Office building of the Korea Economic Daily in Junglim-dong

NOT conducted

Jun. 10

Yeouido Bldg. of Samsung Life Insurance

NOT detected (Jul. 10)

Jun. 10

Uijeongbu Bldg. of Samsung Life Insurance

NOT detected (Jun. 21)

Jun. 10

Sadang-dong Bldg. of Samsung Life Insurance

NOT detected (Jul. 2)

Jun. 10

Seongnam Bldg. of Samsung Life Insurance

NOT detected (Jul. 2)

Jun. 10

Deungchon-dong Bldg. of Samsung Life Insurance

NOT detected (Jul. 2)

Jun. 11

Taepyeong-ro Bldg. of Samsung Electronics

NOT detected (Jul. 18)

Jun. 11

Gwanghwamun Bldg. of KT Corporation

NOT detected (Jul. 2)

Jun. 17

Seocho Bldg. of Pyeonghwa

NOT detected (Jul. 2)

Jun. 25

Bldg. of Seoul National University Research Park

NOT detected (4 times in 2001)

Jun. 27

Bldg. of Gumsegi

NOT detected (Jun. 26)

Jun. 27

Gangnam Bldg. of KT Corporation

NOT conducted





A study of the disinfection capacity of silver oxide, which is generated in the sterilization ball, can be divided into two categories: First, using E. coli as the disinfection indicator microbe, disinfection capacity is generally found through a lab study. In comparison with other silver materials (Ag+, Ag2O) in terms of CT value, the silver compound erupted from the Sterilization Ball was 100-200 times greater in terms of disinfection capacity under the same silver concentration (Ag concentration).


The CT values needed to remove (99%) E. coli at temperature and pH 7.3 were 20mg-min/L and 40 mg-min/L for Ag2O and AgNO3 respectively. In the case of the sterilization ball, even though the levels differ depending on concentration, the figures ranged from 0.1 to 0.2 mg-min/L based on a concentration of 5ug/L. Compared to AgNO3 and Ag2O, in other words, it was 100-200 times stronger.


4. Active-water mechanism of sterilization ball


Water activation by sterilization ball


If water is circulated in the sterilization ball, water clustering decreases. As a result, water solvency and dissolved oxygen increase. At the same time, heat flow, such as thermal conduction, is accelerated.


Fig. 7 below illustrates temperature changes over time between non-treated hot water and sterilization ball-treated hot water. As shown in this figure, the sterilization ball-treated water was slower than standard hot water in terms of temperature decline.


In a bulk state, even though heat-retaining capacity is large, it reduces temperature easily when it is dispersed in a cooling tower in a small unit. High thermal efficiency in the field has proven this. Table 6 below summarizes the results of equipment analysis by the Korea Institute of Ceramic Engineering and Technology (KICET), which examines how much far infrared rays are emitted in the ceramic ball, the raw material of the sterilization ball.


Fig. 9. Test on Temperature Changes over Time (Non-treated Hot Water VS Sterilization Ball-treated Hot Water)

※ Cluster refers to the size of water molecular group (Hz).

※ The water cluster that passed sterilization balls usually ranges from 60 to 65Hz.



Table 7  Far Infrared Emissivity Test Results (KICET)








Emissivity (5-20㎛)




Analysis (FT-IR)


Emission Power (W/㎡)

3.76 X 102



Emissivity (5-20㎛)




Analysis (FT-IR)


Emission Power (W/㎡)

3.68 X 102











Scale prevention & removal functions of sterilization ball


1. Scale prevention mechanism


In the formation of scale, ions (ex: Ca, Mg, SiO2, etc.) are bound with thermal electrons that occur in heat transfer surfaces such as pipe walls and heat exchangers, grow on heat transfer surfaces such as pipe walls and heat exchangers and reduce thermal efficiency by interrupting heat exchange.


The functional energy emitted from the sterilization ball is bound with ions that are a major cause of scale such as Ca, Mg and SiO2 and transformed into fine particles. As a result, it can prevent them from being attached to the heat transfer surfaces (ex: pipe wall, heat exchanger, etc.) in advance.


Ca2+ + 2e- = Ca

Mg2+ + 2e- = Mg


2. Causes and problems of scale formation


Fouling, an unwanted deposit that enhances thermal resistance in a heat transfer apparatus, is caused because of a decrease in the solubility of mineral ion as the water is being heated. Calcium ions are deposited on the heat transfer surface, and a crystallization reaction that causes deposit fouling occurs. Because of the solid, hard-to-remove scale, heat transfer becomes less efficient with higher loss of pressure (Cu: 393W/mK, CaCO3: 0.8W/mK).


The figure below reveals a scale formation flow and the photo thereof.



2mm-thick scale reduces the overall heat transfer coefficient by 47%


Pipe scale removal system


Using the scale removal function of the sterilization ball, the system is customized. The primary causes of scale (ex: Ca, Mg, Si, etc.) are transformed into fine particles because of special electromagnetic waves that are generated by the specially manufactured ceramic ball while passing through the sterilization ball system. This system prevents scale from forming on drums or water tubes as well as removing any existing scale.


In scale on pipes or metal, a hairline crack always exists because of the difference in the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) between the metal and scale. Since temperature changes in all thermal facilities, hairline cracks are formed in the repetition of expansion and contraction.


In the activated water that has passed through the sterilization ball system, the size of the water cluster decreases while solvency improves. With an increase in dissolved oxygen, it penetrates these hairline cracks. As a result, oxygenated film (black rust) is formed on the water tube and heat transfer surface. Scale then gradually falls off in clumps and piles up on the floor.


The scale debris must be removed through a blow-down. The picture below shows scale that has piled on the floor after falling from pipe walls because of the installation of the sterilization ball system.



Fig. 10. Removed Scale Piled on the Floor
















5. Academic and presentation data for sterilization ball(eeko ball)


Date announced and published 



Aug. 2001

Assessment of anti-microbial effect on pathogens using the sterilization ceramic for water treatment

Institute of Microbiology of Seoul National University

Nov. 2002

Cooling tower microbe control using sterilization ball

Paper on EKKO Ball published in the fall conference of Korean Society of Water and Wastewater and Korean Society of Water Environment with the professor from Seoul National University (Daegu)

Nov. 2002

Environmentally-friendly, multi-functional cooling tower water treatment

EKKO Ball published in the seminar of the Korea Building Owners & Managers Association and Building Culture (Winter)

Jan. 2003

Eliminating several cooling-water

problems with one ball

EKKO Ball published in Chemical Engineering (Jan. 2003) in the U.S.

Jan. 2003

Assessment of disinfection capacity on silver oxide formed in sterilization balls

Advanced Oxidation & Photochemical Reaction Research Lab, School of Engineering & Applied Science of Seoul National University

Feb. 2003

Multipurpose water treatment in cooling tower

Technical presentation on EKKO Ball at the 2003 Cooling Technology Institute (CTI) Annual Conference in San Antonio

Apr. 2003

Scale prevention test using sterilization-treated water

Turbo and Power Machinery Research Center of Seoul National University

May 2004

Control of bacterial growth in water using synthesized inorganic disinfectant

Published in CHEMOSPHERE in the U.S.

6. Intellectual property rights of sterilization hall


Water-treatment ceramic ball manufacturing method


- Patent registered in Korea: Patent No. 0377776

- Patent applied under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

- Patent applied and registered in: The U.S., Japan, China, EU

- Registered as a environmentally-friendly sanitizer with the EPA: 75126-2








7. Installation of environmentally-friendly sterilization ball cartridge



Shape of environmentally-friendly sterilization ball  


Environmentally-friendly sterilization ball installed



Environmentally-friendly sterilization ball in operation







Humidifier sterilization test


* Tested by: The Korea Environment & Water Works Institute

* Test sample: Sterilization silver ceramic for humidifier

* Test conditions: Fill the sample-installed humidifier with artificially polluted water and collect sample from near the ultrasonic transducer at 2 and 5 hours.

* Artificially polluted water: E. coli NOT detected











Sterilization test in sterilization-ball humidifier


* Tested by: The Korea Environment & Water Works Institute

* Test sample: Sterilization-ball sterilization filter

* Test conditions:

After operating the sample-installed humidifier in a turbo state for two (2) hours, collect the humidified vapor (200ml). Add water artificially polluted with yeast and leave at room temperature for two (2) hours. 

* Artificially polluted water:

Staphylococcus aureus NOT detected / Pseudomonas aeruginosa NOT detected









8. Strength of environmentally-friendly sterilization ball cartridge


Perfect covering the weakness of the silver-nano product –

Silver nano is 10 times finer than nano in terms of angstrom. In fact, the former is much stronger than the latter in terms of sterilization (disease prevention and purification by sterilizing bacteria and virus).


Registered with the EPA (the only product in Korea) –

Silver-nano products are governed by the EPA.


Other products that emit Ag2O are positive (+) ions. However, the sterilization ball (EKKO Ball) emits negative (-) ions with far stronger sterilizing power. In addition, a great amount of natural negative ions are produced.


No particular apparatus is required during installation. It is impregnated around the transducer for sterilization.



Because of water-softening functions that decrease water clusters, this product helps keep the skin moist and healthy through superior air sterilization (collection of humidified mist à optimum sterilization is maintained).


When water in a water tank comes into contact with the sterilization ball cartridge impregnated around the transducer, germs are sterilized. The sterilization water-humidified mist then purifies indoor air by sterilizing germs in the air. As a result, it is effective in preventing respiratory diseases.


The part around the transducer is highly vulnerable to pollution. The terms here or in a water container are all sterilized in an environmentally-friendly manner. Slimy biofilm, rust and scale are removed. Thanks to the sterilization of germs and viruses, diseases are prevented and easily controlled – sanitary.






9. Effects of environmentally-friendly sterilization ball-treated water


1) Strong sterilization power

Once water passes through the sterilization ball, it is transformed into sterilizing water, which is very effective in sterilizing pathogens and virus.


2) Water activation

If the sterilization ball is circulation-treated in the water, it decreases the molecular structure of water and activates the water (an increase in dissolved oxygen levels). The activated water increases water solvency and improves absorption. As a result, it keeps the skin moist and healthy. In addition, it accelerates metabolism through smooth circulation. It is also effective when growing plants and caring for animals thanks to the great amount of negative ions.


3) Prevention of biofilm and scale

The sterilization ball-treated water has strong solvency and sterilization power so that it prevents biofilm (organic matter + slimy film) from forming and removes it if it has formed prior to treatment. In addition, strong solvency prevents rust and scale from forming on pipes and removes the existing rust and scale.


4) Sterilization effects

Because the sterilization ball-treated water itself has sterilizing effects, if this water is sprayed into the air, it sterilizes germs and viruses in the air. In addition, it emits a great amount of negative ions, purifies air, deodorizes and modulates humidity. In particular, it is very effective in sterilizing and preventing pathogens and viruses.

(Effective in easing atopic and allergic dermatitis) – keeping the body balanced


5) Environmentally-friendly product

Ag2O was fused to the environment-friendly ceramic ball through high temperatures. No harmful materials were produced. Instead, it produces AgO- ions and activates water with far infrared rays. With the emission of a great amount of natural negative ions, in addition, it creates a refreshing environment.



7) Purification of indoor air and improvement of health

As the water in a water tank flows into the transducer and meets the sterilization ball cartridge, it is transformed into sterilized water. The humidified vapor then sterilizes germs in the air, purifies indoor air and prevents respiratory diseases.


8) Emission of a great amount of negative ions

The human body is always exposed to a great amount of positive ions. The sterilization ball produces a lot of negative ions in a natural manner and keeps plants balanced (An electrical negative ion generator produces ozone and can cause issues with respiratory organs / regulated by EPA).


9) Maximization of water-changing cycle


10) Deodorization effects


11) ‘TOXIN-FREE’ under a toxicity test – No harm to human body


12) Registered with the EPA – the only product in Korea


13) Sterilization ball applications

If used in a child’s or student’s room, it is effective for improving concentration and for sound sleep in addition to the other effects mentioned.


14) Nosocomial infection     

Nosocomial infection has been a problem around the world as well as in Korea. The sterilization ball is effective in sterilizing pathogens and viruses and preventing indoor air from being polluted.


15) Available for water purifiers, dishwashers, humidifiers, air purifiers and air scrubbers







10. Follow-up procedure


1) Characteristics of sterilization-ball humidifier


In the sterilization ball, silver oxide is coated on the surface of the ceramic form, and a new material (AgO-) is continuously produced from the surface. After binding with the amino group (-NH+), an important part of the microbial cellular membrane, it sterilizes germs. The special energy of the sterilization ball transforms ions such as Ca and Mg into fine particles and prevents scale from forming. As a result, slimy biofilm is prevented around the ultrasonic transducer, and the formation of scale is prevented, making cleaning easy.


2) Management of sterilization-ball humidifier


Unlike conventional humidifiers, a slimy biofilm does not formed around an ultrasonic transducer. Therefore, cleaning is not needed as frequently. However, dust in the air or particles in the water are deposited and solidify on the floor making cleaning difficult when it is required. If the environmentally-friendly sterilization ball cartridge is utilized, this problem can be prevented, and cleaning becomes much easier.



  • Price Condition : FOB

Packaging & Delivery

  • Delivery Lead Time : 60 days
  • Minimum Order : 5,000EA, 10,000EA, 20,000EA

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