CSIR develops UV technology to combat COVID-19, provide clean air
The tech has been transferred to 28 firms nationwide to ensure rapid indigenous production
Recent research has shown an increase in COVID-19 exposure due to inhalation of infectious virus-carrying respiratory droplets and aerosol particles. Last week, the government issued an advisory, warning that smaller aerosol particles can be carried in the air around 10 meters.
Noting that indoor settings have become highly prone to airborne transmission, it is crucial to keep the air clean and spaces disinfected in indoor public areas like offices, classrooms, retail stores, and other buildings.
Taking cognizance of the looming health-related challenge, the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed a UV-C air duct disinfection system to remove any form of virus, bacteria, fungus and other microbes in large spaces like malls, auditoriums, classrooms and conference halls.
The UV-C technology uses 254nm UV light to deactivate more than 99% of viruses, bacteria, and other aerosols in order to make the indoor space safer and healthier for public use. In addition, UV-C can help in combating the fungal infections being reported in the ongoing second wave of COVID-19 in India.
Reportedly, the technology developed by the CSIR-CSIO has been tested for over 99% disinfection, affirming that it could be used as a “retrofit solution to Air Handling Units (AHUs)” in buildings, vehicles, and other spin-off applications. To simply put it, the technology can be used to disinfect HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) ducts allowing clean air to spread around the space.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Science and Technology, CSIO-CSIR has transferred the technology to 28 companies across the country to facilitate production on a commercial scale and ensure rapid nationwide deployment. Leading companies from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Punjab, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Odisha have been selected for the provision of the technology.
“The UV-C is energy efficient system, improves airflow through coils, enhances indoor air quality, requires less maintenance, easy to retrofit with any existing system having AHU ducts, and has low initial setup cost. The system comes with commercialized standards and certifications,” the ministry noted.
The ministry has also underlined that the installation of ultra-violet light-based solutions to disinfect large areas and ensure clean air will facilitate ease of return of people to workplaces, educational institutions and public transportation.
In the statement, CSIR-CSIO Director Prof. S Anantha Ramakrishna highlighted that the technology is available for deployment with wide availability across the country through the 28 companies.
The technology is developed by the Fabrionics Division of CSIO under the leadership of Harry Garg. Furthermore, the Fabrionics Division is also developing advanced UV-based sanitisation products for other situations as well.
Meanwhile, the Centre has called on the public to ensure better ventilation to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission and infection. Last week, the government issued a fresh set of protocols to prevent Coronavirus transmission.
“Just as smells can be diluted from the air through opening windows and doors and using exhaust systems, ventilating spaces with improved directional airflow decreases the accumulated viral load in the air, reducing the risk of transmission,” the advisory said.