German UV light wall 'can stop 99% of all viruses,' including COVID-19
Two German universities based in Munich have created the first prototype of a UV light wall that, according to the researchers, is able to halt 99 percent of viruses – including COVID-19.
"No virus can pass through this light wall," says Reiner Prohaska, CEO of Smart United, while showing off the invention. His company has teamed up with scientists from the division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at University Hospital of Munich and the Technical University of Munich to develop the innovative system to stop the spread of viruses in all types in closed rooms.
The UV-C light wall is described as "a curtain" and falls down perfectly from the ceiling to the floor. The main issue in building it, says Prohaska, is keeping the light focused in the right place and not scattering it, which might weaken its effectiveness.
The UV lights turn off automatically when a person walks through it, and turn back on immediately after they're gone. But in the case of germs and viruses, they have no way of passing through the walls at any time, as they're killed by the UV radiation.
"This is almost completely impermeable to pathogenic germs at normal air speed, even if one coughs or sneezes with a little distance, bacteria or viruses are basically unable to pass through the wall alive," explained Andreas Wieser, senior physician at the University Hospital of Munich.
"The result is that you create a barrier that you can't hear, can't see, can't smell, can't feel, but which can separate air spaces for which you would otherwise need a panel of glass or a plexiglass pane."
The idea behind the project is to create a way for people to still safely share indoor closed spaces, without wearing masks.