Bart van den Dikkenberg RD 4-6-2020
Ventilation systems in homes, churches and offices are in the suspect bench. They would play a role in the spread of the coronavirus. But with the new air purifier from Staphorst, the chance of this is much smaller.
"That we developed this air purifier is partly due to the RD," says Klaas ter Horst, research and development manager at Brink Climate Systems. “I read about ionization, which removed dust, fungi and bacteria from the air. I thought: if that works in air, it might also be suitable for our ventilation system. ”
Brink Climate Systems has been making ventilation systems with heat recovery for years. Fresh outdoor air is drawn in, filtered and heated in a heat exchanger by the dirty indoor air, which is then blown out, Ter Horst explains.
Contact with Aad van der Starre of Freshlight from Deventer, manufacturer of the ionization systems, was soon made. "We were initially a bit skeptical," acknowledges Ter Horst. “However, the ionization works very well. With Freshlight's technology we can capture much more than with our filters alone. ” This led to the development of the Brink Pure Induct, an air purification system with ionization.
Pure Induct works as follows. The ventilation system draws in fresh outside air. Carbon brushes from the Freshlight ionization system launch millions of electrons into the air drawn in. They ionize particles in the air, which therefore cluster. Ionized air can also harm bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Almost all particulate matter and the remains of the micro-organisms are then left behind in the electrostatically charged filter. The air blown in is therefore almost sterile, except for 0.04 %, says Van der Starre. This was shown last week by tests by the German research institute TÜV Nord. Ter Horst: “The ionization technology is performing above expectations
Van der Starre agrees that TÜV Nord has not provided measurement data on viruses. “This requires highly specialized knowledge that the research institute does not have in-house. But from previous studies we know that viruses can also be rendered harmless by ionization. ”
"The next step could be to build in the ionization filter system in the air recirculation," suggests Van der Starre. "We can also use this to eliminate viruses indoors."
Recent Italian research shows that ionizers can effectively disinfect the air. Hospitals such as Johns Hopkins, Children's Hospital Boston and the University of Maryland Medical Center have already successfully applied air ionization.
A 1970 study shows that ionized air prevents viral pneumonia in mice. Negative ions also harm many pathogenic bacteria and virus types in the air, according to a Swedish study.
"The ions cause a chemical reaction on the cell membrane surface that inactivates the virus," said Philip Tierno, a professor of clinical microbiology and pathology at New York University School of Medicine. "They can inactivate 99.9 % of pathogens in minutes."
Negatively charged ions also damage the so-called spikes of coronaviruses, the excellent proteins on the virus surface with which they infect cells. They become inactive as a result.
Yet air ionization is not on the minds of virologists and other experts. How did that happen? Van der Starre has no idea. When asked, virologist Ab Osterhaus states that he has no experience with air ionization to inactivate viruses. "I am therefore cautious about commenting on this matter." Whether it works depends, according to him, on aa… I am therefore careful with comments on this matter. ” Whether it works depends on a number of factors, such as air circulation, temperature development and relative humidity.
For the time being, the Pure Induct from Brink Climate Systems is one of a kind. "We use carbon brushes to launch the electrons into the air. Our technology does not release ozone. That is important to us, because we want to offer healthy air ”, emphasizes Adriaan Cramer, head of product management at the Staphorster company. He has noticed a growing interest in the Pure Induct in recent months. "We receive requests on a daily basis, including from private individuals."
>> rd.nl/pureinduct for video
"Ionized air harms 99.96 % of germs"