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Researchers at the University of Houston claimed to have designed a special air filter that can trap the novel coronavirus and blast it with heat to kill the disease on contact.
Dr. Zhifeng Ren, director of the Texas Center of Superconductivity at UH, is the brains behind the project, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Ren worked with Medistar CEO Monzer Hourani to bring about a "unique design" made from heated nickel foam, which was detailed in a paper published by Materials Today Physics.
Researchers reportedly conducted tests at Galveston National Laboratory and found that 99.8 percent of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was killed "instantly," after a single pass through the filter. The process does, however, require the foam to be heated at 392 degrees Fahrenheit.
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“This filter could be useful in airports and in airplanes, in office buildings, schools and cruise ships to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Ren explained. “Its ability to help control the spread of the virus could be very useful for society.”
He also said Medistar is looking into offering smaller personalized models that could purify the air around a single employee's desk or work station, according to the Chronicle.
Dr. Garrett Peel of Medistar, who helped craft the design, suggested that the filters be deployed to "high-priority venues where essential workers are at elevated risk of exposure (particularly schools, hospitals and health care facilities, as well as public transit environs such as airplanes),"
"It's basically a high-performance COVID-19 killer," he said. "This is safe and effective. We want to roll this out of Texas first and start deploying them in schools, nursing homes. This unit could be deployed in 60 days."
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"It provides an extra sense of security, knowing that our children and elderly are protected," Peel added. 'We need our leaders to step up and create private and public partnerships to get this product into our schools and protect our children."
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