Effect of KrF, excimer laser (248nm) on airborne micro-organisms

Mine, T., Krishnan, A., Dallas, A., Parton, R. and Watson, I.A. (2009) Effect of KrF, excimer laser (248nm) on airborne micro-organisms. In: CLEO/Europe - EQEC 2009 - European Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics and the European Quantum Electronics Conference, Munich, Germany, 14-19 June 2009, p. 5194759. ISBN 9781424440801 (doi: 10.1109/CLEOE-EQEC.2009.5194759)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/CLEOE-EQEC.2009.5194759


The probability of infection during air travel was determined by assuming randomised events (sneezing, coughing, vomiting) and the Well-Riley model for the infectivity rate. The potential of using an Excimer laser operating at 248 nm to decontaminate air was experimentally investigated. Infections spread by air travel is of growing concern in recent times with such outbreaks as SARS and Bird Flu occurring. There are also concerns over how the air is re-circulated through cabins and cleaned of microorganisms and chemical contaminants from the fuel. A mathematical model has been developed to assess the risk factors that may lead to passengers on board becoming infected with airborne respiratory diseases and novel methods of decontaminating air have been investigated. Airborne infections are spread when people are in close proximity for a period of time [2]. Being in an enclosed space such as an aeroplane enhances the risk of infection. Large droplets containing micro-organisms are projected into the air whenever an infected person talks, coughs, sneezes, vomits etc, and these can be intercepted by anyone within a range of a few meters. However smaller lighter particles (droplet nuclei) generated from sneezing for example, can remain suspended in the air for a longer time and have a wider range of infection. In the simulation, the aircraft cabin was divided into four sections/cabins so that the effects of proximity and the air recirculation and mixing were modelled. A mathematical model of the airflow affecting the concentration of infectious agents in the cabin was produced. It is clear from these models and recent press articles that there are potentially serious problems associated with aircraft contamination. Overall, the results demonstrated that lasers could be used successfully to decontaminate air. Exploiting lasers as a means to decontaminate air may therefore provide an efficient, alternative method of cleaning air for improved cabin air quality.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Watson, Dr Ian and Parton, Dr Roger
Authors: Mine, T., Krishnan, A., Dallas, A., Parton, R., and Watson, I.A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Publisher:IEEE Computer Society

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