Focussed UV rays can decontaminate in just two minutes
Indian scientists from IIT Tirupati (IITT) and IISER Tirupati have jointly developed the Portable Optical Cavity Sterilization Unit (POSCU), a hybrid sterilization system that can decontaminate PPE, allowing them to be used multiple times. A working point-of- use sterilization unit has been developed with the support of the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body under the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
Unlike the traditional UV systems, this unit follows the optical cavity concept to optimize the use of photon flux in the treatment area. The system confines the UV radiation and enhances photon-flux and sterilization efficacy. The coherent operation of UV-C, cold plasma, and H2O2 spray further strengthens the sterilization efficiency due to more hydroxyl radical production.
The team is currently optimizing the design parameters, including UV dose, plasma, and H2O2 concentration, to get the optimum sterilization performance in short contact time of less than two minutes. Due to the non-thermal nature of the treatment, the proposed unit shall also find application in the sterilization of other items such as packed and unpacked food, currency, and other household items.