US Anthrax Filter
NASA produces a filter to clean air of anthrax spores
Story No.: 332243
Dateline: Various - Recent
Date: 03/14/2002 04:00 AM
US - Recent
1. Mid shot woman sitting at desk, tilt up to show AiroCide unit on ceiling with simulated demonstration
2. Graphic simulation of airborne pathogens being killed inside AiroCide unit
3. AiroCide unit on ceiling, simulated flow of clean air out back of unit
Kennesaw, Georgia - Recent
4. Two men in lab coats inside AiroCide assembly room, pan to two units under construction
5. Close up inside of an AiroCide unit before completely assembled
6. Two men working
7. AiroCide unit mounted on wall of office
8. SOUNDBITE (English) John Hayman, President KES Science and Technology:
"AiroCide, unlike any other type of filtering system, whether combined with ultra-violet light or not, does not trap and collect particles like media or fabric filters do. It actually, the longer the particles stay in the unit, the more likely they are to be destroyed. Media filters, or hepa filters, have to be changed frequently because they clog up from the small particles they are filtering and they also collect and concentrate the pathogens and the allergens, and someone at the end of the month or the two month period has to change that filter, and become exposed to all those pathogens."
9. Cutaway AiroCide unit mounted on office wall
Huntsville, Alabama - Recent
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Annie Matisak, NASA Commercial Space Centres Programme:
"Space-based research may seem to have little to do with the war on terrorism, yet the invention of AiroCide, an anthrax killing device, shows how commercial space-based research can benefit people on Earth in unexpected ways."
Kennesaw, Georgia - Recent
11. Close up face of worker at KES plant
12. Close up tiny tubes that make up the insides of an AiroCide unit
13. Mid shot worker at KES plant, manipulating insides of an AiroCide unit
Building miniature greenhouses for experiments on the International Space Station has led to the invention of a device that annihilates anthrax, a deadly bacteria used in attacks on media and public figures in the US months ago.
The anthrax-killing air scrubber, AiroCide Ti02, is a four foot (one metre) metal box that bolts to any ceilings or walls.
Fans draw in airborne spores and the airflow forces them through a maze of tubes.
Inside, pathogens are killed by hydroxyl radicals, the most damaging kind free radical - atoms which are unstable and highly reactive.
Most remaining spores are destroyed by high-energy ultraviolet photons.
Spores that pass through the box are killed, rather than filtered, avoiding the threat of having to change an anthrax-laden air filter.
The technology to build the anthrax killer emerged from another product, Bio-KES, which is used by grocers and florists to extend the life of vegetables, fruits and flowers.
The Space Station experiment and the Wisconsin Centre for Space Automation and Robotics are part of NASA's Space Product Development Programme, which encourages the commercialisation of space by industry.
There are 17 Commercial Space Centres across America, each specialising in a variety of areas such as agriculture, materials and biotechnology.
Commercial Space Centres and their industry partners also explore how technologies created to conduct space-based research can be used for a variety of purposes, like killing anthrax, on Earth.