Hazardous airborne viruses are rendered harmless on-the-fly when they are exposed to energetic, charged fragments of air molecules.
Fremont, CA: The global outbreak of coronavirus has made it clear that the world needs innovative tools that help in slowing the spread of the infections. Although there are numerous methods of disinfection which is being applied, the sir itself is serving as a carrier through which viruses can be spread. Therefore to deal with this crisis, The University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota have developed and tested a cold plasma reactor that can effectively inactivate airborne viruses. They are hoping that one day they will harness the capability to replace a century-old device, the surgical mask.
This technology was primarily developed to help in stopping infections that attack farms pigs and tested on Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus (PRRSv); cold plasma can be useful in disinfecting public and private spaces like subway cars, offices, and even hospital wards of human viruses. The new reactor yields charged molecules that aggressively react with other molecules, resulting in microscopic living things to sustain a large deal of damage. Conducting air filled with PRRSv via a new reactor resulted in the exhaust containing less than five percent of the original living virus particles. They have measured the virus-killing speed and the effectiveness of the nonthermal plasmas, the ionized, or charged, particles that are formed around electrical discharges like sparks. Getting these results in a fraction of a second in a stream of air holds excellent news for many applications where sterile sir supplies are needed. The researchers are quite sure that they will be able to improve this number even further.
In order to kill the virus particles, the new reactor features borosilicate glass beads loaded into a cylinder between which air is made to pass. A voltage is produced through the beads so that plasma is created and the radicals are produced.
The airborne transmitted diseases represent one of the biggest threats to animals and people, henceforth a technology as a non-thermal plasma reactor will emerge to be a breakthrough that will help in keeping both healthy.