Scientists have designed a "catch and kill" air filter which they say can trap the novel coronavirus and neutralise it instantly, an invention that may reduce the spread of COVID-19 in closed spaces such as schools, hospitals and health care facilities, as well as public transit environments like airplanes.
According to the study, published in the journal Materials Today Physics, the device killed 99.8 per cent of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, in a single pass through its filter.
It said the device, made from commercially available nickel foam heated to 200 degrees Celsius, also killed 99.9 per cent of the spores of the deadly bacterium Bacillus anthracis which causes the anthrax disease.
"This filter could be useful in airports and in airplanes, in office buildings, schools, and cruise ships to stop the spread of COVID-19," said Zhifeng Ren, a co-author of the study from the University of Houston (UH) in the US.
The researchers said they are also developing a desk-top model for the device which is capable of purifying the air in an office worker's immediate surroundings.