JODHPUR: In a significant breakthrough, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur have unveiled a cutting-edge solution to tackle indoor air pollution and the threat of airborne pathogens. Their creation, the “Novel Cold-plasma Detergent in Environment” or CODE device, promises to revolutionize indoor air quality management.
Indoor air pollution is a growing concern worldwide, with health organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) listing it as one of the top five risks for chronic diseases. People breathe nearly eight times more air by volume than they consume food and four times more air than water. Shockingly, indoor air can contain up to 2-5 times more pollutants than outdoor air. The “sick building syndrome” has become a common issue, and the risk of airborne pathogen infections looms large, especially in a world where new viruses and bacteria seem to emerge every year.
To combat these challenges, a team of researchers led by Dr. Ram Prakash and Dr. Ambesh Dixit, along with research scholars Ramavtar Jangra and Kiran Ahlawat from the Department of Physics at IIT Jodhpur, has developed the CODE device. Their groundbreaking work was recently published in the prestigious journal Nature Scientific Reports on June 25, 2023.
The CODE device is the result of a unique combination of non-equilibrium cold plasma and nano-technology. It generates optimal concentrations of negative ions, akin to the natural environment. Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen famously termed this concept as the “Detergent of the Atmosphere,” and the CODE device lives up to this name. It creates a quasi-neutral electric atmosphere, effectively balancing negative and positive charges, mimicking nature, and rupturing harmful pathogens in aerosols.
One of the device’s key features is its ability to deactivate long-lasting pathogens effectively, with active ions remaining in the air for over 25 seconds. Despite its powerful capabilities, it consumes minimal power, making it an energy-efficient solution for indoor air quality improvement.
The CODE device offers several advantages, including the deactivation of bacteria, molds, and viruses, the capture of dust and pollen, reduction in Volatile Organic Compounds (VoCs), and the elimination of odors.
Start-up company M/s Divya Plasma Solutions Pvt. Ltd., incubated at IIT Jodhpur’s Technology Innovation and Start-up Centre (TISC), is now working on Indoor Air Sterilizers based on this revolutionary technology. These sterilizers aim to address both aerosol transport and infectivity in indoor spaces, providing proactive air treatment at the source of contamination.
Professor Ram Prakash, the key inventor of this technology, expressed the significance of their work, saying, “We initiated this work during COVID-19 Pandemic to disinfect the indoor environment, and with three years of hard work, we have come up with the Novel CODE-based indoor air sterilizers, which will be soon available in the market for commercial use.”
Professor Ambesh Dixit, who contributed to the project, added, “I am happy to participate in the project and want to see its successful use for the general public.”
The potential applications of this technology are vast, ranging from individual households to public places such as hospitals, schools, shopping malls, commercial buildings, and transportation systems. It promises to offer a healthier and safer indoor environment for all.
In a world increasingly aware of the importance of clean air, the CODE device represents a remarkable leap forward in ensuring the well-being of individuals in indoor spaces.