Recirculating air purification technologies are employed as potential means of reducing exposure to aerosol particles and airborne viruses. Toward improved testing of recirculating air purification units, we developed and applied a medium-scale single-pass wind tunnel test to examine the size-dependent collection of particles and the collection and inactivation of viable bovine coronavirus (BCoV, a betacoronavirus), porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCV, an alphacoronavirus), and influenza A virus (IAV), by a commercial air purification unit. The tested unit, the Molekule Air Mini, incorporates a MERV 16 filter as well as a photoelectrochemical oxidating layer. It was found to have a collection efficiency above 95.8% for all tested particle diameters and flow rates, with collection efficiencies above 99% for supermicrometer particles with the minimum collection efficiency for particles smaller than 100 nm. For all three tested viruses, the physical tracer-based log reduction was near 2.0 (99% removal). Conversely, the viable virus log reductions were found to be near 4.0 for IAV, 3.0 for BCoV, and 2.5 for PRCV, suggesting additional inactivation in a virus family- and genus-specific manner. In total, this work describes a suite of test methods which can be used to rigorously evaluate the efficacy of recirculating air purification technologies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the staff of the University of Minnesota Veterinary Isolation Facility for their support in ensuring proper experimental setup in this study. This work was supported by Molekule Inc.
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
- air purifier
- photoelectrochemical oxidation
- virus aerosols
- wind tunnel test