Science

Ultraviolet LED lights can kill coronavirus

Ultraviolet LED lights are found to kill 99.9 per cent of coronavirus pathogens in just 30 seconds and could offer a cheap way to sterilise the air in ventilation systems

  • Israel-based researchers studied effectiveness of ultraviolet LED lights 
  • Found in 30 seconds the LED bulbs kill 99.9 per cent of coronavirus particles
  • This offers a readily available and cheap way to sterilise air and water systems

LED lights that churn out ultraviolet light can kill coronaviruses and could be incorporated into air conditioning systems to sterilise rooms, scientists say. 

Ultraviolet light has previously been found to kill coronaviruses, including the one which causes Covid-19, but this is the first study of its kind to show UV emitted by LED lights is also effective. 

LED lights require very little energy, are instantly bright and are now commonplace after replacing the older filament-based bulbs. 

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Ultraviolet light has previously been found to be efficient at destroying coronavirus, including the one which causes Covid-19, but a new study shows UV emitted by LED lights is effective (stock)

Professor Hadas Mamane at Tel Aviv University in Israel believes the bulbs could offer easy, quick and cheap methods of disinfection. 

‘The entire world is currently looking for effective solutions to disinfect the coronavirus,’ she said. 

‘The problem is that in order to disinfect a bus, train, sports hall, or plane by chemical spraying, you need physical manpower, and in order for the spraying to be effective, you have to give the chemical time to act on the surface. 

‘Disinfection systems based on LED bulbs, however, can be installed in the ventilation system and air conditioner, for example, and sterilize the air sucked in and then emitted into the room.

‘We discovered that it is quite simple to kill the coronavirus using LED bulbs that radiate ultraviolet light.

‘We killed the viruses using cheaper and more readily available LED bulbs, which consume little energy and do not contain mercury like regular bulbs.

‘Our research has commercial and societal implications, given the possibility of using such LED bulbs in all areas of our lives, safely and quickly.’

The researchers looked at how effective two wavelengths of light were at killing SARS-CoV-2m the coronavirus causing the current pandemic.

They found 265 nanometers (nm) light waves were the most effective at killing the virus, but bulbs with a wavelength of 285 nm, which are more readily available, were almost as efficient.

In less than 30 seconds, the 285 nm light is able to destroy 99.9 per cent of all virus pathogens, according to the study, published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology

Dynamics, a US-based electronics firm, unveiled a coronavirus killing machine that sucks up germs and blasts them with high-intensity ultraviolet light. Called Nanowave, the technology is capable of eliminating 99 per cent of the virus in less than two thousandths of a second

Dynamics, a US-based electronics firm, unveiled a coronavirus killing machine that sucks up germs and blasts them with high-intensity ultraviolet light. Called Nanowave, the technology is capable of eliminating 99 per cent of the virus in less than two thousandths of a second  

The researchers hope that the findings will mean the LED UV bulbs can be incorporated into pre-existing appliances and services, such as air conditioning, vacuums and water systems to disinfect them. 

Dynamics, a US-based electronics firm, unveiled a coronavirus killing machine that sucks up germs and blasts them with high-intensity ultraviolet light.

Called Nanowave, the technology is capable of eliminating 99 per cent of the virus in less than two thousandths of a second.

The device consists of four motors that pulls air in at up to 300 litres and is capable of pushing the coronavirus free air more than 10 feet away from the system.

Dynamics also designed the ‘world’s first’ fully flexible UV-C lamp that is physically contorted in the device to provide ultra-high intensity UV-C radiation.

Nanowave is available for purchase in the US for $3,450 per unit.

Face masks that supply students with a steady supply of sterilised air could help prevent the spread of coronavirus in schools 

School pupils in the classroom could soon have a supply of sterilised air pumped straight to masks attached to their desks if an unusual new system is adopted.  

Spanish experts have patented a design that involves installing a network of tubes to every seated position in a room.   

Sterilised air, free of any coronavirus particles, will be injected into the system from a central pump and each person would receive their own supply through a mask. 

The sprawling labyrinth of pipes would have two channels — one for clean air and one for exhaled dirty air. 

Researchers say their invention could be used in any confined space, including classrooms, cinemas, offices and theatres.  

As air goes into the network, it is exposed to specialised ultraviolet light, which zaps any potential contagions, killing them instantly. 

Once the air has been breathed in an exhaled, it is separated out to ensure there is no mixing of breath from various people. 

This reduces the likelihood of catching the virus from another person’s exhalation to virtually zero, the researchers claim. 

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