Researchers Design Air Filter to ‘Catch and Kill’ COVID-19

Sunday, July 12, 2020 - 10:15

Researchers from the University of Houston have designed a “catch and kill” air filter that can trap the virus responsible for COVID-19 and kill it instantly.

The filter was designed by Zhifeng Ren, director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH, Monzer Hourani, CEO of Medistar, a Houston-based medical real estate development firm, and other researchers, KSAT reports.

During the filter’s creation, researchers said they found 99.8% of the novel SARS-CoV-2 was killed in a single pass through the filter, which is made with nickel foam. The filter also killed 99.9% of the anthrax spores, researchers said.

“This filter could be useful in airports and in airplanes, in office buildings, schools and cruise ships to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Ren, MD Anderson Chair Professor of Physics at UH, in a release. “Its ability to help control the spread of the virus could be very useful for society.”

The university is also looking into designing a desktop model that can be used in an office worker’s immediate surroundings.

For now, researchers have called for a phased roll-out of the device, which will begin with high-priority venues, where essential workers are at an elevated risk of getting the virus. This can include schools, hospitals, health care facilities, public transit, etc.

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