Does anyone think this could help with cutting down corona virus in buildings? Think of someone infected on another floor coughing in the air and its sucked into the return. Supposedly works on flu virus and microbial.
Ventilation and air cleaning are good topics to explore for airborne pandemic control, but it’s tricky to get it right. This particular Aerus ‘scrubber’ is suspect, IMO. The promotional video suggests that it is generating strongly oxidizing molecules (H2O2), ions (OH-), and maybe free radicals. Those will be very effective at oxidizing whatever they encounter first. In an occupied room, that often will be a human airway rather than a virus particle. In an exhaust duct (removing air from the occupied room), it should be pretty safe, especially if the system includes some way to neutralize the oxidizing agents – but at that point you could accomplish the same thing with UV-C or heat. Also, the promotional video is splicing cherry-picked data to imply a story that I doubt they have proven, so that’s quite sketchy. Specifically, the claim that the scrubber will remove VOC’s etc is likely true, and the claim that lower VOC’s etc (clean air) are associated with improved health and longevity also is likely true, but it does not loj-ikuly follow that flooding your office and/or bedroom with oxidizing molecules to clear VOC’s etc will help you live longer: the endless supply of oxidizing agents must not harm you more than the removed VOC’s etc would have. Also, in the promo video, the smoke clearing when they purportedly turn on the ionizer is astoundingly fast and turbulent, and looks to me like they turned on an exhaust fan. If it was real, that would be a lot of oxidizing molecules in a few seconds, possibly more than you want. I’d be a skeptical customer. If you are secretly promoting this scrubber, sorry.
Back to air management: Droplets carry lots of virus and fall quickly through still air. Aerosol particles carry less virus but quickly shrink by evaporation, and can hang in still air for a long time. Droplets can be filtered easily if necessary, but it’s hard to filter a virus particle coated only with a little salivary protein left after evaporation, because it’s so small. Aerosols can be sucked into an exhaust duct, but unless you have smooth air flow throughout the room, the room probably will develop eddy currents where virus particles will just tumble for a long time. If the exhaust flow through a room creates an upward draft, then droplets will take longer to fall and will lose more water to evaporation while falling. I suppose they could become small enough to qualify as aerosols, and might even reverse direction, drifting up in the air current. Perhaps the best design would create smooth downward airflow to exhaust ports near the floor, but I don’t know if anyone has such a design. One compelling feature of this kind of solution is that it combats all airborne infectious diseases, natural or man made, R0 of 2 or 22, lasting immunity or not, viral, bacterial, fungal spore, whatever. Another is that it should be effective without anyone in the public needing to use it correctly – you can’t mess up donning, wearing, doffing, or disputing a working ventilation system. It is probably worth thinking about exactly how to circulate and clean air in buildings.
Thanks for the input Adamah. Not promoting anything, was actually looking to buy something if it actually worked.