It’s all about the particles….

Did you know that on average, Aquaspersions UK create 16.5 Quintillion (10 to the power 18) brand new dispersion particles in a typical working day. And over 5 Sextillion (10 to the power 21) in a year. Coincidentally that’s exactly the same number of stars there are estimated to be in the observable universe. To divert for a second – how many chemical atoms do these particles carry to our customers? Difficult to be accurate due to the sheer number of active ingredients we disperse, but probably in the region of a Nonillion (10 to the power 30) atoms a year.

Anyway, parking the atoms for the moment – which for the most part already exist when they arrive at our factory as raw materials – that really is a lot of particles to have responsibility for. I like to think that each and every one of them add value to our customers, barring of course the odd spillage. But would they be quite as useful if they weren’t so well created?

So, like many of my ageing colleagues, I sleep less well at night these days and I find myself worrying about these particles and the massive responsibility they carry on their (metaphorical) shoulders, as they travel with their (also metaphorical) siblings on their journeys to our customers in the UK, Europe, North and South America, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa – and sometimes beyond.

Should I worry then? Well perhaps not if I’m honest. Perhaps I of all people know how well our teams of scientists design our dispersions and test them to exhaustion to know they will survive a wide variety of conditions and even the occasional mistreatment. I know how obsessively we control our production processes to form each particle  at the correct size and stabilise it properly, making sure that the environment is “just right” to ensure it stays as a discrete particle and doesn’t agglomerate with others or sediment over time. And how our QC department double and triple check everything is correct before packing our particles and sending them on their way to do their job.

So why do I worry? Maybe that’s just what CEOs are there for? Or maybe as a scientist and (very) amateur astronomer I just know that ten to the power 21 is really far too big a number not to worry about!