New device aims to stop airborne coronavirus in its tracks

An Airosan UV air sterilising unit Picture: AIROSAN

An Airosan UV air sterilising unit Picture: AIROSAN - Credit: Archant

A start-up firm has come up with a potential way of tackling the spread of coronavirus by using a UV air steriliser to “clean” the air in rooms.

Airosan-UV director Kian Carvell said there was a lot of excitement in the new unit, with some big players such as British Aerospace and Royal Mail keen on the concept.

While personal protective equipment (PPE) was focused on stopping disease spread by limiting exposure, the device aimed to kill it while it was airborne, he said.

MORE – Adnams begins to reopen stores across East AngliaThe lightweight unit – which is on castors and plugs into standard sockets so that it can be used around offices and other spaces – draws air inside and exposes it to UV-C radiation to sterilise it before expelling it back into the room.

While killing germs and viruses using UV-C is not a new idea, the Kings Lynn-based firm said it was possibly the first time it had been available in such a compact mobile unit. Each unit can sterilise up to 800m sq of air an hour.

“At the end of the day it’s an airborne virus,” he said. “The root cause of the problem is in the air. Although PPE is protecting people from it, it’s not actually killing the virus.”

A three-man team including Mr Carvell worked to develop a solution, he said.

Mr Carvell is business development manager at Eastern Adaptations, a King’s Lynn company started by his father which specialises in bathroom adaptations for the disabled, elderly and less abled.

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“Basically, this crisis hit us,” he said. “Our projects got postponed. We started working with the discharge teams at hospitals and came across this challenge.”

They partnered up with friends in a company specialising in laboratory equipment and came up with the concept for a UV air sterilising unit, which they have been developing for the past three months, he explained.

The team has worked with professionals including surgeons, consultants and facilities managers from two major London Hospitals to develop the mobile systems to offer a solution where there is risk of contamination from Covid-19 and other pathogens.

As well as being suitable for hospitals other environments such as factories, offices and even homes may be potential customers.

The fan draws contaminated air through a primary filter before expelling it through a secondary filter.

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