Air filters to check Coronavirus

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Can air filters trap and kill viruses, especially the coronavirus? A few scientists in the United States have come up with a “catch and kill” air filter that is claimed to trap the virus responsible for Covid-19 and killing it.

They published the study in “Materials Today Physics” journal.  The researchers claimed that 99.8 per cent of the coronavirus was killed in a single pass through a filter made from nickel foam heated to 200 degrees Celsius. They also claimed that the filter killed 99.9 per cent of the anthrax spores. They said that these were tested at the Galveston National Laboratory run by the University of Texas Medical Branch in the United States.

Co-author Zhifeng Ren  (University of Houston) was quoted as saying that the filter could be of great use at the airports, airplanes, offices, schools and ships.

The virus cannot survive more than 70 degree Celsius and as such the researchers used a heated filter that could heat up to 200 degree Celsius.  The Nickel foam was used as it met several requirements. Nickel foam is porous that allows the flow of air and also electric conductivity. Moreover, it was flexible. The researchers also heated it electrically rather than heating it from an outside source.  This helped in minimising the heat from escaping the filter.

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