DAEJEON, Oct. 16 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s top-ranked science and technology university has developed a new technology that can get rid of the novel coronavirus in the air.
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) announced on Wednesday that it had developed electrostatic atomization technology that can create a massive amount of ultra-fine water drops for the sterilization of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the air.
Contained in the ultra-fine water drops that have a micrometer/nanometer-level size is a hydroxyl radicals (also known as OH radicals), a material that ranks second behind fluorine in terms of sterilization and disinfection strength.
OH radicals have stronger sterilization and disinfection capability than ozone and chlorine. Unlike them, however, OH radicals have no toxic effect as they are harmless to the human body.
The lifespan of OH radicals, however, is shortened in the air. The KAIST research team addressed the problem by caging OH radicals within a water drop.
At present, Japanese tech giant Panasonic Corp. is known to be a global leader in the field of OH radical-containing ultra-fine water drop technology.
Panasonic’s technology, however, has limits since it generates ozone, which is harmful to the human body, due to its higher impressed voltage and a shortage in the amount of water drops.
The research team succeeded in mass-producing the ultra-fine water drops by using microelectromechanical system (MEMS) technology to create an ultra-fine nozzle made of polymer that is thinner than a hair.
With low impressed voltage, this technology can stably realize the electrostatic atomization without generating ozone.
“This is an eco-friendly technology using pure water that is completely safe for humans,” said Lee Seung-sup, the professor who led the research team.
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)