Air Purification Technology
The SteriSpace utilizes the novel approach of compressive heating to kill airborne biological contaminants. Independent testing has demonstrated conclusively the achievement of >99.9999% (6-log) kill effectiveness against airborne biological threats, including bacterial spores, vegetative bacteria and viruses. Positive or negative pressure can be maintained by the system for protection or isolation. The addition of an optional catalyst to the system can be used to eliminate select chemical agents, environmental pollutants, and organic particles.
The technology is scalable for airflows from tens to thousands of cubic feet per minute (CFM), and is suitable for a wide range of applications. In addition to the sterilization of air, the technology is applicable to the removal of various industrial process gases. The SteriSpace concept for airborne flow purification does not rely on filters to trap contaminants; thus, the logistics and maintenance requirements associated with HEPA filtration are not a concern.
Concept of Operation
A mechanical blower or high-pressure fan is used to move the air and to compressively heat it to high enough temperatures to kill the biological contaminants, or activate a catalyst to remove chemical compounds. In the 300 CFM unit the blower is a positive displacement blower while the 5,000 CFM uses a centrifugal fan. At a blower outlet or “treatment” temperature of 240°C (464°F), greater than a six-log kill of bacterial spores, vegetative bacteria and viruses has been demonstrated. A counter-flow heat exchanger is used to cool the exhaust flow to acceptable temperatures. The energy recovered from cooling the exhaust flow is transferred to pre-heat the inlet-flow and greatly reduce power consumption.
SteriSpace technology eliminates biological threats, including bacterial spores, bacteria and viruses, to >99.9999%. The kill mechanism is a function of temperature and residence time allowing the basic technology to scale to a broad range of flows using different compressor technologies including centrifugal fans for high volume flows.
By placing a catalyst in the system’s hot air stream, chemical and environmental pollutants as well as organic particles and allergens are eliminated. In a series of tests, the systems has eliminated a broad range of chemical contaminants and particulate matter. Measurements show substantial reduction of VOCs and some industrial chemicals (testing challenges include acetone, toluene, hexane, propylene oxide, and ammonia).
HEPA and Other Competitive Technologies
No air purification system can match the SteriSpace’s cost-effective ability to kill all pathogens and eliminate gaseous chemicals and organic particulate matter. And none offers the consistency, minimal maintenance and freedom from human error. HEPA cannot remove chemicals and is limited to removing particulates to the 99.97% level. HEPA is ineffective against some viruses for two important reasons: small viruses can penetrate HEPA and low levels of virus contamination are capable of causing illness.
HEPA captures and concentrates particles on the filter, but it does not kill them; spent filters are disposed as hazardous waste. Additionally, a HEPA filter system is subject to leaks and requires increasing amounts of energy as the filters fill with age. These problems are avoided with SteriSpace technology. Finally, HEPA add-ons such as UV lights bring another level of complexity and cost to HEPA systems without matching the SteriSpace’s effectiveness.