© Sterisafe

Disin­fec­tion of rooms: Clean up, Robo!

The Ster­isafe Pro robot system elim­i­nates 99.99 percent of all viruses, bacteria and fungi, and runs on just water and elec­tricity. It uses ozone to disin­fect rooms and surfaces, which can find its way into extremely small gaps and crevices with the use of effi­cient fans.

Admit­tedly, the Ster­isafe Pro robot does not look partic­u­larly remark­able – in essence, it is a square box on wheels. But what is remark­able is what this system – created by the Danish company Ster­isafe – can offer. Placed in a room cont­a­m­i­nated with viruses, bacteria, spores, or fungi, it can rid it of 99.99 percent of all harmful parti­cles within one and a half to two and a half hours, depending on the size of the room. It does this fully autonomously and with complete thor­ough­ness.

The right product at the right time

All over the world, the subject of hospital hygiene has been an issue since long before Covid-19. In Europe alone, around 37,000 people die every year from infec­tions that they have caught in medical prac­tices. At the begin­ning of 2020, the global coro­n­avirus pandemic drew even more atten­tion to this issue. Overnight, it became essen­tial to reli­ably disin­fect scores of rooms in hospi­tals to contain the spread of the virus. The same was true for medical prac­tices and emer­gency depart­ments.

Just a few months before the outbreak of the pandemic, Ster­isafe brought its robot-based disin­fec­tion solu­tion, Ster­isafe Pro, to market. There­fore, it was imme­di­ately able to deliver what was urgently needed: a mobile, low-cost disin­fec­tion solu­tion that gives viruses no chance. Eliot Booth, CEO of Ster­isafe, explains: “The Ster­isafe Pro is much more effi­cient than solu­tions that use UV light or deter­gents. We use ozone, which can pene­trate even the narrowest gaps, to disin­fect cont­a­m­i­nated ambient air, as well as surfaces and objects such as wheel­chairs and hospital beds. This means that costly cleaning agents and chem­ical addi­tives are not required.”

Ster­isafe employees tinker with the robot's phys­ical processes ... (Photo | Ster­isafe)

... and hard­ware. (Photo | Ster­isafe)

Cleaning cont­a­m­i­nated indoor air

The Ster­isafe Pro can disin­fect rooms that have a volume of up to 130 cubic meters. To start the process, the robot is placed in the room, connected to the mains, and filled with water. It must then be ensured that the room is completely sealed, including venti­lation outlets and fire alarms. A tablet shows the oper­ator which steps must be completed and in which order. The disin­fec­tion process can then be started remotely.

The Ster­isafe Pro sucks in the cont­a­m­i­nated ambient air and uses the water and energy to convert it into ozone, which is fed back into the room. The gas flows every­where, gets onto every surface, into every gap, and ensures that no harmful parti­cles remain anywhere in the room. After the space has been completely flooded with ozone, the gas is sucked back into the robot system, and converted back into pure oxygen. In this step, even the smallest parti­cles and nanopar­ti­cles are reli­ably killed, and the puri­fied air is then fed back into the room. Once the disin­fec­tion process has been completed, a message appears on the tablet to alert the user, and the room is imme­di­ately safe to enter and use again. Addi­tional venti­lation is not required.

Ster­isafe now produces not only for hospi­tals, but also for veteri­nary clinics, the food industry and facility manage­ment. (Photo | Ster­isafe)

Prereq­ui­site: high perfor­mance of the fan

Powerful and reli­able fans are essen­tial for the disin­fec­tion cycle to be successful. Eliot Booth says: “We decided to use one of ebm-papst’s EC centrifugal fans because it is adjustable without steps and delivers the high perfor­mance level that we need to ensure that the ozone is reli­ably distrib­uted throughout the entire room, and the cont­a­m­i­nated gas is sucked back in from every corner without leaving any residue.” In addi­tion, the fan is used to dissi­pate the heat from the compressor, to prevent the robot from over­heating.

“The Corona situ­a­tion has made it clear how impor­tant hygiene is. But the chal­lenge has always been there.”

Eliot Booth, CEO of Ster­isafe

The patented solu­tion is now in use not only in hospi­tals, but also in veteri­nary prac­tices, the food industry, and facility manage­ment. Devel­op­ment of even more compact models has begun – e.g. for use in emer­gency vehi­cles. Eliot Booth: “The Corona situ­a­tion has made it clear how impor­tant hygiene is. But the chal­lenge has always been there. In hospi­tals in Europe alone, around 37,000 people die each year as a result of infec­tions they have contracted within the hospital walls. There­fore, it is surprising to me that most hospi­tals still only have to disin­fect manu­ally when you know how diffi­cult it is to get every­thing cleaned opti­mally in that way.”

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