As we enter another year of the global pandemic, startups and corporations, and educational facilities are coming up with new ways to eradicate or reduce the COVID-19 threat and increase public safety, especially in light of the ever-increasing number of variants being discovered and spread. Currently, solutions to killing the virus include bipolar ionization, Far-UVC light, and other emerging technologies. Adding its solutions to the mix AVVIR, the innovation division of A.L. Group – a provider of advanced filtration solutions – has launched IN-EX, a medical-grade, scientifically-proven air filter for indoor safety, which turns existing A/C unit into an advanced air purifier.
AVVIR teamed up with scientists at Bar-Ilan University with a mission to make travel safer with an easily-implementable, cost-efficient, and science-backed filtration solution.
The IN-EX solution, recently included in the 2021 Top Ten Emerging Technologies in Chemistry by the International Union of Pure Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), leverages a unique sonochemical-coating technology to convert any air filter into a machine for killing viruses and bacteria.
So why would a solution like this be an excellent alternative to the likes of Far-UVC, which can also eradicate COVID-19 from indoor spaces?
“Far-UVC devices require an energy source,” Boaz Roseman, CEO at A.L. Group, told me. “On the other hand, our filter does not require an energy source or any structural addition or special maintenance. Additionally, the added cost of the filter is small. IN-EX is simply the same as the existing air filter that has been treated and turned into antibacterial, with no change in its size and shape.”
Using personal protective equipment (PPE) alongside social distancing has helped limit COVID-19’s spread, but many commuters are exposed to the virus every day. In June, the Centers for Control and Disease Prevention confirmed: “travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.” Naturally, around half of US commuters are using public transit services less frequently due to the pandemic, according to a survey by Moovit.
To restore public confidence, indoor air quality (IAQ) has been circled as an area of the utmost priority. And because improving IAQ relies on increasing the amount of outside air brought in and cleaning the air that is recirculated, filtration systems that efficiently reduce particles can prove a critical layer of insurance for purifying the air of tomorrow’s commuters.
The air filter is coated with a unique and patented sonochemical technology, which initiates a chemical reaction with ultrasonic energy. The agreement between A.L. Group and Bar-Ilan University was carried out by Birad, a research and development company serving as the commercializing arm of Bar-Ilan University.
Tested in third-party laboratories, it has proven to be 99.15 % efficient against SARS‑CoV‑2 (coronavirus), influenza, and other airborne viruses. The company claims the filter is not only water-resistant and incredibly durable, managing to withstand high temperatures and intense airflow, but it also curtails foul odors born out of bacterial growth.
The company states that the air filter has a long lifespan.
“The IN-EX antiviral and antibacterial coating doesn’t affect the filter’s lifespan, which means that the user should change the filter according to the usual manufacturer guidance, usually every year or every 15 000km, due to mechanical reasons of a filter,” Roseman said.
After activation, it takes 30-40 seconds for a small-to-midsize vehicle using IN-EX to be deemed to have safe air to breathe. The filter is designed to be easy to install, assemble, and replace. It does not require a power source and is manufactured using natural, eco-friendly, and cost-efficient materials.
Its users can combine it with additional filter layers such as carbon or HEPA to help create a multifunctional cabin air filter. IN-EX has broad applicability for the automotive industry and indoor spaces, which can help transform hesitant passengers into content and protected travelers.
“The main strength of our IN-EX filter is that it is a straightforward and cost-effective solution,” Roseman said. “No additional equipment or device is needed – you replace the existing filter with the IN-EX filter. Our pricing model varies depending on the current setup.”