Airborne Pathogen Neutralization
So far there is no effective way to disinfect or neutralize airborne pathogens in large volumes of contaminated air in real time to protect citizens against a terrorist attack using biological weapons, or to disinfect air in hospitals.
The present inventions provide an apparatus and methods for neutralizing airborne pathogens in large volumes of ventilated air in real time, which is effective against airborne pathogenic bacteria, spores and viruses. The technology is based on the formation of highly reactive ozone intermediates that form when ozone reacts with water vapor in the presence of ultraviolet light inside a flow-through reaction chamber into which contaminated room air is introduced. The highly active free radical ozone intermediates react with the pathogens in the air to neutralize them, thereby disinfecting the air. The pathogen neutralization system of the present invention can be easily installed in commercial and residential HVAC air handling systems and it uses commercially available components.
In one embodiment, the pathogen neutralization system includes a flow-through reaction chamber that has a chamber air inlet located at a first end of the reaction chamber to admit pathogen-contaminated air, and a chamber air outlet located at a second end of the reaction chamber to release pathogen-neutralized air. Between the chamber air inlet and outlet, the chamber defines a passageway for the passage of air through the chamber. Inside the reaction chamber are the following elements: an ozone generator; a water supply line; and an ultraviolet light source. In another embodiment the ozone generator is located outside the chamber. The water supply line can be hooked up to an external water reservoir located in the building that houses the neutralization system. In another embodiment, there is an external mixing chamber connected to an external water reservoir and an external ozone generator for producing a mixture of ozone and water that is then introduced as mist into the chamber through a nozzle disposed inside the chamber. In one embodiment the porous matrix is made of metal foam. The pathogen neutralization system can also include a solid support coated with one or more ozone removal catalysts.
Patent Status: U.S. patent(s) 7407633 issued. International patents issued
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