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Continuous air cleaning by filtration and UV-C treatment of airborne pathogens and particulate matter in indoor spaces

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2022 ASABE Annual International Meeting  2200192.(doi:10.13031/aim.202200192)
Authors:   Peiyang Li, Jacek A Koziel, Nubia Macedo, Jeffrey J Zimmerman, Danielle Wrzesinski, Erin Sobotka, Mateo Balderas, William B Walz, Reid Vincent Paris, Dongjie Liu
Keywords:   air quality, air pollution, particulate matter, airborne pathogens, ultraviolet light, UVGI, UV254.


Since COVID-19 became a global pandemic, improving air quality has been increasingly important to mitigate the transmission of pathogenic aerosols. Air filters such as MERV filters have been widely used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to clean inlet air. In recent years, ultraviolet (UV) light has been used for decontamination and disinfection in various applications, including indoor air cleaning, e.g., upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI). There are a variety of air purification devices available in the market, with some incorporating UV technology. However, many of them are not formally tested and certified for their effectiveness in mitigating airborne pathogens and particulate matter. The research's objectives are to (1) evaluate, design, and upgrade an existing air filtration device (~2,200 CFM) with the addition of UV-C lamps; (2) test the effectiveness of the upgraded device in mitigating airborne pathogens (bacteria) and particulate matter (PM) in real scenario (poultry farm). The testing results of air quality are expressed in particular matter (PM) levels and colony-forming units (CFUs). The preliminary data showed that both MERV-8 & MERV 13 and UV-C lamps can inactivate up to 100% of airborne bacteria, and the device can remove over 95% of total PM after treatment in a ~150-layer room.

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