COVID-19: Scientists develop novel air filter to “catch and kill” virus


PTI, Jul 8, 2020, 11:31 AM IST

Scientists have designed a “catch and kill” air filter which they say can trap the novel coronavirus and neutralize it instantly, an invention that may reduce the spread of COVID-19 in closed spaces such as schools, hospitals, and health care facilities, as well as public transit environments like airplanes.

According to the study, published in the journal Materials Today Physics, the device killed 99.8 percent of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, in a single pass through its filter.

It said the device, made from commercially available nickel foam heated to 200 degrees Celsius, also killed 99.9 percent of the spores of the deadly bacterium Bacillus anthracis which causes the anthrax disease.

“This filter could be useful in airports and in airplanes, in office buildings, schools, and cruise ships to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Zhifeng Ren, a co-author of the study from the University of Houston (UH) in the US.

“Its ability to help control the spread of the virus could be very useful for society,” Ren added.

The researchers said they are also developing a desk-top model for the device which is capable of purifying the air in an office worker’s immediate surroundings.

According to the scientists, since the virus can remain in the air for about three hours, a filter that could remove it quickly was a viable plan, and with businesses reopening across the world, they believe controlling the spread in air-conditioned spaces was urgent.

The study noted that the novel coronavirus cannot survive temperatures above 70 degrees Celsius, so by making the filter temperature far hotter about 200 degrees Celsius, the researchers said they were able to kill the virus almost instantly.

Ren said that the nickel foam met several key requirements.

“It is porous, allowing the flow of air, and electrically conductive, which allowed it to be heated. It is also flexible,” the researchers noted in a statement.

But they added that nickel foam also had low resistivity, making it difficult to raise the temperature high enough to quickly kill the virus.

The researchers said they solved this problem by folding the foam, connecting multiple compartments with electrical wires to increase the resistance high enough to raise the temperature as high as 250 degrees Celsius.

By making the filter electrically heated, rather than heating it from an external source, they said that the amount of heat that escaped from the filter is minimized, allowing the air conditioning to function with very low strain.

When the scientists built and tested a prototype for the relationship between voltage/current and temperature, they said it satisfies the requirements for conventional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and could kill the coronavirus.

“This novel biodefense indoor air protection technology offers the first-in-line prevention against environmentally mediated transmission of airborne SARS-CoV-2, and will be on the forefront of technologies available to combat the current pandemic and any future airborne biothreats in indoor environments,” said Faisal Cheema, another co-author of the study from UH.

The researchers have called for a phased roll-out of the device, “beginning with high-priority venues, where essential workers are at elevated risk of exposure.”

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Maharashtra tried to incentivise Marathi-medium schools in Karnataka illegally: KBADA chairman

63.31 percent voting in first phase of Gujarat elections, drop from 66.7 percent in 2017

SpiceJet flight with 197 passengers onboard makes emergency landing at Kochi airport

US designates 4 leaders of AQIS, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan as global terrorists

Muslim devotee wears Hanuman Mala, says ‘harmony greater than religion’

Politics can go on, but stopping Yoga classes made people sad: Kejriwal

DK DC lifts restrictions on use of loudspeakers for Kateel Yakshagana Mela


Related Articles More

Bengaluru researchers develop highly energy-efficient computer platform

Musk’s company aims to soon test brain implant in people

Viewers flock to watch glowing lava ooze from Hawaii volcano

Studies find new computational tools help in better epilepsy surgery results

EU warns Musk to beef up Twitter controls ahead of new rules

MUST WATCH

How to become flipper

Bannur Sheep Breed Information | Uv

This rare jackfruit tree Sidddu Halasu

Oxygen Concentrator

Deepotsava at Shri Durga Adishakti temple


Latest Additions

ED seizes properties of IAS officer Pooja Singhal worth nearly Rs 83 Cr

Maharashtra tried to incentivise Marathi-medium schools in Karnataka illegally: KBADA chairman

63.31 percent voting in first phase of Gujarat elections, drop from 66.7 percent in 2017

SpiceJet flight with 197 passengers onboard makes emergency landing at Kochi airport

US designates 4 leaders of AQIS, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan as global terrorists

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.