Note: The free primer on Innovative Sterilization Technologies for Consumer Electronics can be requested from here.
Our daily use of home appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioners are ubiquitous. They are known to house several germs and viruses which may trigger coronavirus growth rate. As the global COVID-19 cases are on the hike, the unpredictable virus continues to wreak havoc. Lately, the demand for sterilization methods across the globe has increased rapidly in home appliances.
Innovations in Sterilization Technologies in Consumer Electronics
- VioLed Technology: Violeds uses special LEDs that emit in the ultraviolet spectrum to counter contamination. It uses a wider UV band with multiple led lights.
- Plasma Technology: Liquid hydrogen peroxide is heated to turn it into gas. Sometimes it is heated to an even higher temperature, to form plasma.
- Hydrogen Peroxide + Ozone: This technology adds a small amount of ozone gas to hydrogen peroxide gas. This induces an accelerated oxidation process and enhances sterilization.
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We will discuss and analyze the novel and emerging sterilization technologies that can find application in home appliances.
Technology Scouting of Sterilization in Consumer Electronics
Foodstuffs are highly perishable and can host pathogens. Significant causes of food-borne diseases and spoilage are bacterial contamination. It is estimated that 14% of food could be saved if developing countries had the same cold chain infrastructure as developed countries.
The energy consumption of the equipment represents about 15% of worldwide electricity use. If we want to conserve energy, we can replace coolant fluids and gases. These are often super-powered greenhouse gases capable of trapping more than 1,000 times more heat than CO2 – with solid materials, such as bismuth telluride.
A refrigerator configuration to permit easy access and efficient cooling of items stored in the refrigerator appliances.
(HAIER) (US20200248950A1): A refrigerator appliance includes a cabinet that defines a chilled chamber. A door is rotatably mounted to the cabinet at the front portion of the chilled chamber. A food storage chamber is defined within the door. The refrigerator appliance also includes a sealed system configured for generating chilled air. The sealed system is in direct fluid communication with the in-door food storage chamber. It provides the chilled directly to the in-door food storage chamber.
(ELECTROLUX) (US10684068B1): A dispensing assembly is disposed of on at least one of the cabinets. And the door for supplying water and/or ice. The dispensing assembly includes a dispensing tube fluidly connected to a source of water. The outlet opening for allowing a stream of water to exit the dispensing tube upon command.
According to a study published in the Emerging Infectious Disease, nine people in China’s Wuhan were infected with the virus because they were sitting close to the air conditioning vent in a restaurant.
Inefficient cooling due to improper flow and leakage of fluid from the air conditioning unit.
(PANASONIC) (EP3699513A1): A refrigeration apparatus capable of being operated without causing insufficient cooling capacity even when a hot-water supply temperature is raised. An intercooler that cools the refrigerant discharged from the low-stage discharge port; a main gas cooler that cools the refrigerant discharged from the high-stage discharge port; and an auxiliary gas cooler that cools the refrigerant passed through the main gas cooler, wherein the water pipe is sequentially connected in series to the auxiliary gas cooler, the intercooler, and the main gas cooler.
Emerging Sterilization Technologies for Refrigerators
- CN210569456U (Changhong Biryi Co.): This technology uses a Pulse generator to produce pulse ripples in the range of 0-100KV/cm to eliminate the germicidal effect. Pulse impulses are sent multiple times for a better sterilization effect.
- CN111238133A (Changzhou Engineering Academy): This reference performs sterilization using low-temperature plasma. The plasma comprises charged particles termed free radicals. They cause damage to the cell structure of the bacteria and bacterial inactivation happens.
- Toshiba (Japan): In this technology, the PLASMA+ PURE module produces ions and electrons. These help in eliminating germs biological activity, and adsorption odor to keep food fresh longer without any environmental damage.
- Panasonic (Japan): This technology uses blue LED light which activates the silver surface of the Ag filter to create OH (hydroxyl radicals).
Startups to Collaborate (Refrigeration based)
MagnoTherm (2019): Technology is capable of replacing standard gas compression cooling or heating solutions in compliance with current and future F-Gas regulation standards.
Breezi (2016): Breezi, smart connected devices that work like a fitness tracker for HVAC systems. With AirPulse and mobile and voice apps, HVAC can finally speak any language. Keep HVAC in tip-top shape so it can keep comfortable, healthy, and energy-efficient.
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Emerging Sterilization Technologies for Air Care/AC
- CN111351160A (Wang Quanling): In this reference, EHPA filters are used with an ultrasonic atomizer to block virus aerosols less than 2.5μm. These virus particles are capable of passing through HEPA filters.
- Magneto Clean tech (India): This technology works on a 3-stage micro-trapping process. It harnesses the combined effects of impingement, polarization, and agglomeration which creates a “Trap & Kill” effect.
- AirOasis (US): AHPCO is a new improvement on NASA’s PCO (Photocatalytic Oxidation) technology. It doesn’t filter the air rather it oxidizes and destroys air pollution on a molecular level by shining a UVGI light on our proprietary nano catalyst surface.
Emerging Sterilization Technologies for Washing Machines
- Seoul Viosys (South Korea): Violeds uses special LEDs that emit in the ultraviolet spectrum to counter contamination. It uses a wider UV band with multiple led lights as compared to UV lamps.
- Miura (JP): This technology adds a small amount of ozone gas to hydrogen peroxide gas to induce an accelerated oxidation process, and enhances sterilization.
- Bar-Ilan University (Israel): This technology works with nanometer-shaped electrodes having unique surface properties. The meeting between water and electrode creates a cleaning material in a unique aquatic environment.
- Panasonic (JP): This technology uses blue LED light which activates the silver surface of the Ag+ filter to create OH (hydroxyl radicals).
Startups to Collaborate (Sterilization in Consumer Electronics based)
- Oxwash: Oxwash is a UK-based startup working on washing and dry-cleaning processes.
- AirOasis: AirOasis Provides a solution for clean air using sterilization technologies.
- UV Angel: UV Angel developed an automated pathogen control technology to advance branded, OEM, and licensed solutions.
- Aura Air: Aura Air developed a smart air management platform, that cleanses and disinfects air while monitoring its quality in real-time.
- Magneto: Magneto Clean tech develops advanced technologies to tackle the problem of poor indoor air quality.