One of the largest black-owned pharmaceutical companies in South Africa, 3Sixty Biopharmaceuticals, has introduced revolutionary air purification technology into Africa that was developed for NASA in the United States.

There are exciting opportunities for South Africa and the rest of the continent across various commercial, industrial, and public sectors, thanks to the global partnership between 3Sixty and SteriLumen (a US-based air purification and infection control technology company). 3Sixty has exclusive distribution rights in Africa for Airocide by SteriLumen, which provides welcome risk reduction strategies for pandemics like Covid-19, as well as better overall air quality solutions to problematic airborne pathogens.

Walter Mbatha, CEO of 3Sixty Biopharmaceuticals, shares some insights and tips on what to bear in mind when trying to achieve clean, clear air through air purification.

What is air purification?

One positive thing to come from the emergence of Covid-19 is that around the world the spotlight has been shone on the importance of air quality. Previously, most people and companies took air quality for granted, but with the airborne SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes Covid-19), people are now questioning how to effectively combat problematic airborne pathogens that would normally be unaffected by high efficiency particulate air-based technologies alone.

A recent study conducted by a reputable Biosafety Level III Laboratory confirmed that Airocide technology was able to kill 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 within minutes – this can offer businesses a fighting chance against the Covid-19 pandemic and other airborne diseases.

While air purification is not considered new, some of the technology being introduced into the market certainly is. This new technology is having a marked impact on the overall effectiveness of combating Covid-19 and other airborne pathogens. Simply put, air purifiers are either filter-based devices or active air purifiers that release negatively charged ions into the air, causing pollutants to stick to surfaces.

What separates Airocide from its competitors is that this technology – developed for NASA – does not trap airborne pathogens, but instead eliminates particles of all sizes, even those that are often too small for filter-based technologies to capture. Airocide is an elimination solution rather than a filtration solution – it releases clean air without any harmful emissions. This means that with Airocide, there is nothing potentially harmful to inhale. In the US, the Airocide units are listed by the FDA as Class-II Medical Devices; in South Africa they are listed as Class B medical devices by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority.

How does this technology work?

To date, globally-revered companies and institutions like Global Fruit, Walmart, the University of Cambridge, the US Army, and even the Red Sox baseball team have put their faith in Airocide’s unique technology to ensure their air is kept safe and clean.

Airocide utilises NASA-optimised photocatalytic oxidation technology. This draws any contaminants in the air of a room into the Airocide unit and channels them into the reaction chamber. Ultraviolet C (UVC) radiation activates the proprietary photocatalyst embedded in the reaction chamber, beginning the photocatalytic process.

Through this airborne pathogen-killing technology, millions of hydroxyl radicals converge, combining with the carbon atoms in pathogens such as airborne bacteria, mould, fungi, mycotoxins, viruses, and allergens, as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The result? Organic material is converted into a harmless vapour and clean, clear air.

Who will benefit from Airocide?

The Airocide technology is clinically-proven and field tested to eliminate airborne pathogenic and non-pathogenic microorganisms, allergens, odours, and harmful VOCs in a variety of applications and industries. These include healthcare, hospitality, medical cannabis cultivation, food preservation (perishables), wineries, commercial real estate, schools, dental offices, and homes.

The Airocide units are available in different sizes to cater for personal home use, businesses, schools, food and flower storage facilities, and industrial-sized spaces, depending on the space requirements of the end-user. The Airocide units are also low-maintenance in comparison to other air purification systems, requiring only the annual replacement of their lamps.

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