Safe, Effective, and Cost-Efficient Air Cleaning for Populated Rooms and Entire Buildings Based on the Disinfecting Power of Vaporized Hypochlorous Acid
Commenced in January 2007
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Safe, Effective, and Cost-Efficient Air Cleaning for Populated Rooms and Entire Buildings Based on the Disinfecting Power of Vaporized Hypochlorous Acid

Authors: D. Boecker, R. Breves, F. Herth, Z. Zhang, C. Bulitta

Abstract:

Pathogen-carrying aerosol particles are recognized as important infection carriers like those in the current Corona pandemic. This infection route is often underestimated yet represents the infection route that has been least systematically countered to date. Particularly, the transmission indoors is of the highest concern but current indoor safety measures (e.g.: distancing, masks, filters) provide only limited protection. Inhalation of hypochlorous acid (HOCl) containing aerosols may become an alternate route to attack the incubating microbes in-situ and so potentially lead to a reduction of symptoms of already infected individuals. We investigated a facility-wide air-disinfection concept utilizing the potential of vaporized HOCl to become a disinfecting agent for populated indoor atmospheres. Aerosolized bacterial microbes were used as surrogates for a viral contamination, particularly the enveloped coronavirus. For the room air purification tests we aerosolized bacterial suspensions into lab chambers preloaded with vaporized HOCl solutions. Concentration of ‘free active chlorine’ in the test chamber atmosphere was determined with a special gas sensor system (Draeger AG, Lübeck, Germany) controlling the amount of vaporized HOCl via an aerosolis® device (oji Europe GmbH, Nauen, Germany). We could confirm the disinfecting power of HOCl in suspensions and determined the high efficacy of vaporized HOCl to disinfect atmospheres of populated indoor places at safe and non-irritant levels.

Keywords: Hypochlorous acid, HOCl, indoor air cleaning, infection control, microbial air burden, protective atmosphere.

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