The air purifier manufacturer Genano commissioned the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland to carry out a study on how effective its air purifiers are against viruses like COVID-19 in indoor air. This new study is the first of its kind in Finland, and the results have exceeded all expectations: in no more than 15 minutes, nearly 90 per cent of airborne virus particles had been removed, and in just two hours the air was purified by up to 99.999 per cent.
Airborne transmission poses a high risk of COVID-19 infection. Multiple studies have shown that aerosols can spread the coronavirus. These particles can remain suspended in indoor air for up to three hours. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also issued a warning that the coronavirus spreads further indoors than current physical distancing rules account for. Effective air purification will remove particles and viruses, offering additional protection against COVID-19.
Genano's air purification technology has been used in hospitals and various other buildings for 20 years in over 50 countries.
"As the pandemic started, massive orders came in for our equipment, including Chinese hospitals. While demand kept growing, we wanted to carry out a new test to conclusively prove that our devices are effective against the coronavirus. It was important for us to use an objective and internationally trusted research institute, and that was VTT," says Niklas Skogster, the CEO of Genano.
The study started in late summer and was recently concluded. Its results showed that Genano air purifiers will completely eliminate bacteria and viruses from indoor air.
"The coronavirus is much too dangerous to use for testing, and no samples are available for this purpose. This is why VTT used a surrogate that mimics the coronavirus," says Juhani Tulkki, product development director at Genano.
A steel room 30 cubic metres in size was used for the study. In the test, a large coffee cup's worth of bioaerosol mix was sprayed into the room. The mixture was made up of four microbes, such as mold spores and other common indoor bacteria, and two viruses. One of the viruses was MS2, which has a similar cellular structure to COVID-19, making it behave similarly.
"Various bacteria were included because viruses are microscopic, approximately one thousandth the size of a bacterium. This makes the viruses latch onto bacteria in order to live and spread. The bioaerosol sprayed into the test room was wafted at high pressure to keep it airborne and allow it to settle on the samples," says Tulkki, describing the test procedure.
Multiple tests with different bacteria and viruses all yielded the same results: in 15 minutes, 90 per cent of the virus had been eliminated from indoor air and up to 99.999 per cent was eliminated after two hours.
"This is a staggering result, revolutionary even, and better than what we had expected," says Skogster.
Although Genano's air purifiers are designed for hospitals and isolation rooms, many companies have also started ordering them. Genano recommends equipping offices, restaurants, shops and other businesses with air purifiers to further protect their customers and staff.
"The new coronavirus vaccine is fantastic news, but it will be a while still before everyone can be immunised. Right now, the risk of infection is especially high in healthcare, along with the customer service personnel of critical industries and public spaces. This is where we can help, as our products are available right now. The combined protection of air purification and vaccination will be very good indeed," says Skogster.
You can download the test report here: https://www.genano.com/vtt-research-report
Niklas Skogster, CEO, Genano Ltd
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