Implementation of a specialized air filter to “catch and kill” SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19, may be one step closer to reality.
A team of researchers from the University of Houston, University of Texas and Medistar Corporation, published a paper yesterday in the Journal Material Today Physics detailing the process of superheating a nickel-based foam filter to 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit) as part of a heated air disinfection system, effectively removing and killing 99.8% of SARS-CoV-2 viral particles.
The future plan, according to the Dr. Zhifeng Ren, co-corresponding author, includes installation of the specialized filter as part of an air filtration system (HVAC, heating ventilation and air conditioning) for hospitals, schools, airplanes, airports, restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, homes and offices, helping to significantly reduce exposure risk, since evidence demonstrates that the virus may remain airborne for up to 3 hours.
“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, MD Anderson Chair Professor of Physics at University of Houston and co-corresponding author for the paper. “Its ability to help control the spread of the virus could be very useful for society.” Executives from Medistar Corporation, a medical real estate firm collaborating with the researchers, also envision creation of a portable desk-top model, able to filter the air next to an employee’s work space, he added.
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