London-based Tri-Air is developing a decontamination system that simulates the natural purification properties of fresh air. It creates airborne cascades of hydroxyl radicals, which naturally occur outdoors, to destroy microbes that could include viruses such as H1N1 or bacteria such as MRSA in the air and on surfaces.
Tri-Air, which has received financial backing from the UK Building Research Establishment, said it has already developed a 25cm x 12cm x 12cm prototype compact enough to fit in the ventilation systems of trains and aircraft.
Technical director Alan Mole hopes to demonstrate a much smaller device that could be worn on a belt during the next few months.
Tri-Air, which has spent several years attempting to commercialise its system, claimed its virus-killing potential has been confirmed by independent tests carried out at the Health Protection Agency’s laboratories at Porton Down.