Durst develops UV air disinfection system
Friday, October 9, 2020
Durst has unveiled its own range of portable air disinfection systems, for workplaces and public spaces, set to become available later this year.
In an online presentation to unveil the range, CEO Christoph Gamper said the Italian manufacturer had been developing the technology over the past six months because “we need solutions that give us back quality of life. The current situation is not going to change soon or fast".
In the presentation, Gamper along with the wide-format kit manufacturer’s head of inkjet lab Klaus Delueg, highlighted the risk of enclosed unventilated spaces, which slows the “sinking speed” of the virus in the air, increasing virus loads, and detailed some of the possible solutions such as regular airing of rooms or the use of adapted modern, filtered air conditioning systems.
However, Gamper highlighted that many of the available solutions were impractical, which led the business to look at leveraging its in-house UV expertise because “it has been known for more than 100 years UV rays can kill viruses and bacteria, UV systems are already in medical fields for disinfection.”
The firm’s R&D team looked at ways to utilise UV technology but overcome the limiting factors of direct exposure to UV being dangerous for humans, the fact it can create ozone and can only destroy viruses and bacteria at close distances.
The firm’s UVC-R technology sucks the room air, via an interchangeable anti-viral membrane, into a closed system, which then irradiates it with UV-C light and then it is continuously released into the room.
According to Durst, the “whisper quiet" 25-decibel units have radiation protected chambers that feature high-performance UV-C modules that generate ozone-free radiation with a wavelength of 254 nanometers
The company added that its technology has been externally tested by the Laboratory for medical technology and disinfectants in Germany.
The first 1,000 units are in production at Durst's factory now and Gamper said production can be "scaled up easily if necessary".
He added that the firm was still working on optimising the new systems and the final range would consists of a family of products designed for different room sizes and environments.
However, Delueg was at pains to stress that it is impossible for any technology to claim effectiveness over defined area due to the sheer range of variables he cited Durst’s example, which looked at four people sitting at a table surrounded by a volume of eight cubic metres.
He said that as people typically inhale and exhale about half a cubic m/hr of air per hour, for four the total would be around two cubic m/hr and then compared this to Durst UVC-R 100H unit which at 100 cubic m/hr, disinfects 50 times the breathing volume of four people.
In the session Gamper also showed that the antiviral membrane on the freestanding units can also be printed on, enabling the them to effectively become part of the furniture or a display unit.
Gamper said the firm will work with selected printers so that they can print the interchangeable membranes themselves and enable the units, which can be supplied for backlit graphics, to be used for advertising.
He said that the systems are available for pre-order now, with pricing starting at a pre-order discounted rate of €1,900 (£1,700) for the freestanding 100H unit, which would rise to €2,400 from 1 December when the initial units will begin shipping.
The units will only be available to corporate customers Italy and the Tyrol region for pre-order, but will be made available to all regions in December.
“Within the next few weeks the whole portfolio will be available on the webstore,” said Gamper.