The Researchers from the University of Houston, in collaboration with Medistar & others has created a new air filter containing commercially available nickel foam, to catch and kill the Coronavirus (SARSCoV- 2) responsible for COVID-19. It is said that the filter is so effective that it can trap and kill the virus instantly.
In a research paper published in the Materials Today Physics, the researchers described how the virus tests at the Galveston National Laboratory found 99.8% of the novel SARS-CoV-2, was killed in a single pass through a filter made from commercially available nickel foam heated to 200 degrees Centigrade, or about 392 degrees Fahrenheit.
It also killed 99.9% of the anthrax spores in testing at the national lab, which is run by the University of Texas Medical Branch. So, this filter could prove to be a boon to stop the spread of COVID-19. Since coronavirus can remain in the air for about three hours and cannot survive 70 degrees Centigrade, the researchers devised a plan to create a heated filter to quickly remove the virus from the air.
“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 Ren Anderson, MD Chair, Professor of Physics at UH and co-corresponding author for the paper.
“Its ability to help control the spread of the virus could be very useful for society.” Medistar executives are also proposing a desk-top model, capable of purifying the air in an office worker’s immediate surroundings, he said.
This filter is also helpful in controlling the spread of the virus in air conditioned spaces. A prototype was built by a local workshop and first tested at Ren’s lab for the relationship between voltage/current and temperature; it then went to the Galveston lab to be tested for its ability to kill the virus. Ren said it satisfies the requirements for conventional heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
The researchers have called for a phased rollout of the air filter, “beginning with highpriority venues, where essential workers are at elevated risk of exposure, mainly hospitals, schools and health care facilities, as well as public transit environs such as airplanes).” They believe the novel device will both improve safety for frontline workers in essential industries and allow nonessential workers to return to public work spaces.
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