Air purification process HEPA and UV-C

  • Author: Eduard Paschinger
  • Date: May 19, 2020
  • UPDATED ON: October 12, 2020

New air purifier technology against viruses in the office?

Woman without a mask in the office

As part of preventive health protection and the associated new challenges due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, employers and building managers are concerned about a virus-free air and work environment in offices, business and work rooms.

A new generation of air filtration systems promises great things: The combination of tried and tested, antiviral filter technology meets new research findings on the antiviral effect of UV-C light and is thus intended to be a revolutionary and previously unseen option for antiviral air purification and air hygiene Offer.

The problem:   the costs . The new generation of air filter systems, equipped with a combination of UV-C radiation technology and a tried and tested antiviral filter system, which declare war on virus DNA and other air pollutants, should remain affordable and at the same time ensure   effectiveness against Covid-19 and other corona and influenza viruses . 

HEPA15 / ULPA: antiviral air filtration with potential for improvement?

It is used in clean laboratories and even in operating theaters , which require an absolutely virus and germ-free environment at all times. We are talking about the so-called HEPA15 or ULPA filter technology , which not only filters viruses, but also other air pollutants from allergy-causing pollen to fine and coarse dust from the air environment.

Even if this filter system against pandemic pathogens such as the new Sars-CoV-2 virus raises high hopes, it has a disadvantage that reduces the effectiveness of the well-intentioned approach in everyday office and business life and is not able to sufficiently contain the risk of infection:

The functional principle of the virus filter is based on the finest filter hairs that remove potential virus particles from the air and dry them out. So a “passive” air filtration. 

UV-C light: antiviral effect with great potential

UV-C light

Almost everyone has felt the cell-damaging effects of UV light on their own body in the truest sense of the word: a few hours too long on the beach and the dreaded sunburn shows up in the evening. Due to the cell-damaging effect of short-wave light, the risk of skin cancer increases with every skin burn.

It is precisely this cell-damaging effect that is supposed to benefit the fight against viruses : Walker et al. (2007) present study-based results that indicated the effectiveness of UV light against already known coronaviruses a few years ago and today offer the basis for a new, even more efficient approach in corona prevention.

Since the novel Covid-19 virus is also an enveloped virus that has similar properties to coronaviruses that have been known for a long time, there is much to suggest that UV-C light also renders the Sars-CoV-2 virus harmless . The idea of ​​combating viruses with the help of UV light is by no means new: UV-C light was used in France as early as 1908 to disinfect municipal drinking water. It is still used today for disinfection in kitchens and hospitals. The short-wave light penetrates the cells that absorb it. DNA is considered to be particularly susceptible to ultraviolet light.

Walker et al (2007) demonstrated that even a very low dose of only 254 nm leads to damage to the viral genetic makeup of coronaviruses in aerosols and thus renders the virus harmless to its environment.

It can be said that UV-C air purification could represent a promising approach for the prevention of respiratory, virally-induced respiratory diseases. Whereby the Federal Environment Agency stated in an announcement from August / September 2020 that no UVC air purifier has yet submitted a sufficient study to the Federal Environment Agency …

With UV-C radiation against viruses- What is important?

If an air cleaning system that works on the basis of UV-C radiation is used for air cleaning, the shielding of the radiation source is essential for health protection. Based on the results of Slonim et al, which date back to 1969, from today’s perspective it is advisable to use certified, specially coated devices . The special coating not only prevents potential high-energy UV radiation from escaping, but also prevents oxygen from breaking down into two atoms as part of the photolysis process due to the high-energy UV radiation and the latter reacting with other oxygen atoms to form ozone .

If we discuss the effectiveness of antiviral air purification using UV-C light, which is also used in offices and workrooms as a comprehensive preventive measure against the coronavirus Covid-19, weak points and potential factors that reduce the effectiveness of this approach must of course also be discussed can be carefully and – where possible – switched off. There is no question that the following aspects are decisive for the effect of the high-energy radiation on the virus DNA and can determine the success and benefits of the air purification measure:

  • Possible inhibition of the radiation effectiveness by a cooling air flow
  • Probability of direct exposure to UV-C light on potential virus particles
  • Level and duration of the radiation exposure

In particular, the strength and duration of the radiation exposure to possible, active virus DNA, with the aim of rendering it harmless, seems to be of particular importance in the context of an effectiveness assessment. Every Mallorca vacationer knows too well: 5 minutes of direct sunlight does not make you sunburn.

The same is likely to apply to the effectiveness of UV-C light on viruses: the shorter and shorter the exposure time or the dose of UV-C light to the virus, the higher the risk that the virus will DNA remains active and therefore infectious for humans .

Fight viruses with compound systems?

Our claim is no less than the greatest possible effectiveness of virus control through modern air purification that is harmless to humans .

Keeping office and business premises free of viruses and ensuring health protection for employers and employees in the long term with the highest efficiency requires recourse to tried and tested antiviral air purification processes and the elimination of possible weak points that are inherent in the air purification processes that are already available .

So it is obvious to fall back on the advantages of the proven, filter-based air cleaning and to integrate an ACTIVE disinfection system. In the ION-HEPA process, the potential weak points of conventional filter techniques are compensated for by integrating a special surface coating and electrostatic charging. This takes place in such a way that the advantages of both processes increase the efficiency of the air purification, on the one hand alternately compensating for potential weak points of the other technology and on the other hand the virus-damaging mechanism of action of the other approachamplify .

Highest efficiency thanks to combined filter technology

Luftprotector is a highly effective cleaning system based on two proven technologies: The filter system guides the air flow through the HEPA filter. Viruses and virus particles that are in the aerosols in the room air are filtered out of the room air by the fine filter hairs . Instead of simply relying on the passive process of drying out the virus DNA, the efficiency of the ionized coating comes  into play: The particles are retained in the filter material like in a magnet and their shell is exposed to the instability process. The new innovative air cleaning systems can be adapted to the local and individual demands and needs of the respective business and office space.

This is what modern air purification devices do

The highly effective air cleaning systems , manufactured in the EU, work extremely quietly thanks to their low voltage fan control and, with their 12 V technology, are very energy-efficient for maximum operational safety . High-quality material and durable built-in parts also reduce the need for maintenance and guarantee the customer the purchase of a sustainable , ecological product

Criteria when making a decision for the right air cleaner model are the individual conditions of the rooms: In addition to the size of the room / office and the volume of air to be cleaned, a decisive question is whether a supply and exhaust air conditioning system is used.

The available model variants are suitable for use in office and living spaces from 2 to 160 square meters 

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