New air filter to protect against COVID-19
A new air filter has now been developed which can capture the virus SARS-CoV-2 responsible for COVID-19 and kill it immediately. This could be a crucial step in combating the global threat of COVID-19.
An investigation involving the University of Houston found that a newly developed air filter can effectively kill SARS-CoV-2. The results were published in the English-language journal “Materials Today Physics”.
Curb the spread of the virus in air-conditioned rooms
The researchers knew that the virus that caused COVID-19 could remain in the air for about three hours. With many stores reopening, it was imperative to curb the spread of the virus in air-conditioned rooms. A filter that can quickly remove the virus does just that.
Where could the filter be particularly useful?
"This filter could be useful in airports and on planes, in office buildings, schools, and cruise ships to stop the spread of COVID-19," said study author Professor Zhifeng Ren of the University of Houston in a press release. There are even plans to develop a table model of the filter that could purify the air in the immediate vicinity of people working in the office.
Virus cannot survive high temperatures
According to the researchers, the virus cannot survive temperatures above 70 degrees Celsius. The team therefore decided to develop a heated filter. The virus was killed almost instantly by a temperature of around 200 degrees Celsius.
What material is the filter made of?
The research group used nickel foam because it met several key requirements. The foam is porous so that air can flow through it and is electrically conductive so that it can be heated. In addition, it has good flexibility.
How could the filter be heated up?
However, since nickel foam has low resistivity, it is difficult to raise the temperature high enough to quickly kill the virus. The team solved this problem by folding the foam and connecting several chambers with electrical wires to increase the resistance so that temperatures of up to 250 degrees Celsius can be reached.
Escaping heat was minimized
The internal electronic heating also minimized the amount of heat that would normally escape from the filter if an external heat source were used. After various tests, it was confirmed that the filter meets the requirements for conventional heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
How effective is the new filter?
Thanks to the new filter, which was heated to 200 degrees Celsius, 99.8 percent of the new SARS-CoV-2 could actually be killed in a single pass. The filter also kills 99.9 percent of the anthrax spores during laboratory tests.
Filters have huge potential
This novel technology to protect indoor air from the environmental airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 will be at the forefront of available technologies to combat the current indoor pandemic, study author Dr. Faisal Cheema.
Where is the filter used first?
The new device will now be phased in, starting at high priority locations where workers are at increased risk of exposure. This particularly includes schools, hospitals and health facilities as well as public transport and its surroundings, for example airplanes and airports. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Jeannie Kever: Researchers Create Air Filter that Can Kill the Coronavirus, University of Houston (published 07.07.2020), University of Houston
- Luo Yua, Garrett K. Peelb, Faisal H. Cheema, William S. Lawrence, Natalya Bukreyeva et al .: Catching and killing of airborne SARS-CoV-2 to control spread of COVID-19 by a heated air disinfection system, in Materials Today Physics (published 07.07.2020), Materials Today Physics