US-based Aviation Clean Air (ACA) has developed a proactive system that it claims can immediately improve aircraft cabin air quality and neutralise pathogens including Covid-19. The company has completed a second phase of testing for the system, during which it says the NeedlePoint Bi-Polar Ionization (NPBI) technology that powers the airborne and ground-use purification systems, has shown a 99.99% neutralisation via ionisation of the Covid-19 virus after just 30 minutes.
The ACA airborne ionisation purification system is certified by the FAA on numerous aircraft, with an STC. NPBI is ozone-free and ACA says it is is the only such system to pass the RCTA DO-160 standard for aircraft.
The laboratory tests were conducted by Innovative Bioanalysis, a CAP, CLIA, AABB Certified Safety Reference Laboratory with over 75 years of combined experience. The tests were performed in a setting designed to replicate the ionisation conditions of business and commercial aircraft interiors.
The NPBI works by leveraging an electronic charge to create a high concentration of positive and negative ions. These ions travel through the air continuously seeking out and attaching to virus particles in the cabin, which sets in motion a pattern of particle combination. As these particles become larger, they are eliminated from the air.
Positive and negative ions also have microbicidal effects on all pathogens, which ACA says can render the Covid-19 virus non-infectious, while neutralising and removing other viruses, allergens, contaminates and even mould spores. The ions produce a natural reaction on the cell membrane of all pathogens so they can’t reproduce, and then quickly die.
“The HEPA filters that are being used on most commercial aircraft are efficient in removing particulates that are greater in size than 3 microns (3µ), but we know the Covid-19 virus is between .002 – .125µ in size. That means that the HEPA filters may not remove the virus itself if the virus is attached to a smaller airborne particulate,” said Jonathan Saltman of Aviation Clean Air. “Our goal is to partner with airlines to increase the efficiency of the existing HEPA filters being used because our system removes particulates that these filters cannot – in addition to neutralising airborne and surface pathogens.”
“Our system prevents the spread of viruses by aerosolisation, which is now being shown as the primary method that Covid-19 spreads,” added Saltman. “This, paired with the results from our second test, is just further proof that the NPBI technology is the next critical step to re-instill confidence with the public that it’s safe to fly again with Aviation Clean Air on board.”