Wearing a mask and maintaining a social distance during the new crown pandemic is definitely a priority, but an experimental new air filter could help limit the spread of COVID-19,media reported. The device is said to kill the virus, which causes the disease, by heating it. The filter prototype was designed by scientists at the University of Houston, Houston-based Medistar and the University of Texas Galveston Medical Division.
The filter combines a nickel foam that is available on the market, which is conductive and flexible, and is porous enough to allow air to flow through. In order to increase the resistivity of the foam, thereby increasing the heat of the current as it passes, the material is folded into multiple compartments and connected by wires.
Thus, when an electric current is applied, the foam reaches a temperature of about 200 oC (392 oF) — enough to instantly kill the new SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. In fact, in laboratory tests, the filter was reported to be able to eradicate 99.8 percent of aerosols and the virus escant through it. What’s more, under the same conditions, it can kill 99.9 percent of anthrax spores. It is reported that the foam is effectively heated from the inside, rather than requiring a less direct external heater. It is reported that it does meet the requirements of traditional heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
Scientists plan to initially roll out the device in high-priority locations such as hospitals, schools and public transport vehicles. Medistar may later introduce a desktop-type product that can be used in the user’s surrounding environment.
A paper on the technology was recently published in the journal Materials Today Physics.