Researchers at the University of Houston have designed an air filter that is able to trap and kill coronavirus particles instantly.
The results of the study have been published in Materials Today Physics magazine, which shows that with just one pass through the filter, made with heated nickel foam, up to 99.8% of the virus is eliminated.
Nickel foam was chosen as the ideal material, as it is very porous, allowing air to go through it. It is also flexible and a good electrical conductor, which allows it to be heated to 200 ºC. This is essential, as the virus cannot survive in temperatures beneath 70 ºC.
The researchers believe that the filter meets requirements for heating and ventilation systems as well as air conditioning units and could be used in airports, planes, office buildings, schools or even cruise ships.
Dr. Garrett Peel of Medistar, a member of the team that designed the air filter, thinks the “safe and effective” device could be ready to be deployed in 60 days, starting with Texas.