Coronavirus outbreak: Maharashtra start-up claims its air purifier can kill COVID-19

Geeta Nair

A Pune-based air purifier manufacturer has claimed that its product can kill the coronavirus. The air purifiers can kill disease causing bacteria, fungi, allergens and virus including the coronavirus, said Scietech Airon, a start-up located in the Savitribai Phule Pune University campus.

Several hospitals, institutions and the police department have shown interest in the air purifier and are eager to buy it immediately, said Rajendra Jagdale, director general and CEO, Science and Technology Park (STP), which houses 125 start-ups including Scietech Airon.

The Scietech Air Indoor Ion Generator claims it can help in tackling the coronavirus-positive cases and can also ensure wellbeing of staff, doctors and nurses who are working round the clock in the quarantine facilities and also enhance their disease resistance power.

The product can damage the coronavirus surface protein at the molecular level. The company says that one hour of operation of ion generator machine reduces the viral load inside a room by 99.7%, depending on the size of the room.
The technology was developed under the DST's NIDHI PRAYAS (National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations and PRomoting and Accelerating Young and ASpiring technology entrepreneurs) programme, which focuses on developing innovative ideas into prototypes that can be incubated and commercialised.

The Scietech Airon ion machine generates negatively charged ions at hundred million per second that are electrostatically attracted to positively charged airborne particles and aerosol droplets and attaches to them. The negative ions generated by the ionizer clusters around the microparticles such as mold, virus, allergens, pollen and dust and renders them inactive through a chemical reaction. The negative ions surround the hemagglutinin or surface proteins that form on organisms and trigger infections and changes it. The hemagglutinin molecules are destroyed so the virus become deactivated.