They claim that high-efficiency particulate air filters with new technology can kill 99.9% of viruses.
The Korea Institute of Energy Research announced Tuesday that it has developed the world’s first photothermal-effect-based high efficiency particulate air filter, also known as a HEPA filter, that can eliminate 99.9% of influenza and COVID-19 viruses.
The photothermal effect, which describes how a substance absorbs light energy and converts it to heat energy, is used in a lot of areas including drug delivery, cell death, sensor technology, and solar batteries.
By coating existing HEPA filters with plasmonic metal nanoparticles that produce photothermal effects, the research team developed a technology to manufacture photothermal HEPA filters.
According to the study, viral and bacterial cells are killed when photothermal HEPA filters are heated to 60 degrees Celsius or higher within 10 to 15 seconds using light-emitting diodes in the visible light band, which is safe for humans.
The existing HEPA filters in air purifying systems, according to the research institute, are vulnerable to secondary infection because pollutants get stuck on them and create a bacteria-friendly environment. UV rays are used by HEPA filters to prevent this, but they shorten the filters’ lifespan by causing corrosion, according to the report.
“By applying the photothermal HEPA filter technology, up to 99.9 percent of viruses collected in the filter can be removed, so any secondary contamination can be prevented because bacteria and viruses cannot proliferate in the filter,” said Yoo Seung-hwan, lead author of the research.
The new filters can be easily installed on existing filters and new products, according to the institute, and have been licensed for production to local air filter developer Cleantech in Busan. According to the institute, the company is currently constructing facilities for the production of photothermal HEPA filters and plans to release the products later this year.
Korean scientists develop world’s 1st photothermal filters that kill coronavirus|Inquirer