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Notícias Nacionais / 09/06/2021


Students create chamber that decontaminates up to 50 masks in 5 minutes

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Students create chamber that decontaminates up to 50 masks in 5 minutes

Unilab students, in Ceará, are finalizing the production of a chamber that can decontaminate up to 50 masks and PPE in just 5 minutes. Reusable items will be donated to SUS hospitals.

Production started in October 2020 and is expected to end by the end of this month.

It all started after they received an invitation “The Optical Society” (OSA), in the United States, for the production and research of the decontamination chamber for surgical masks in the N95 model.

The group is composed of Engineering and Energy and Computer Engineering students the Institute of Engineering and Sustainable Development (IEDS).

Oxford Protocol

Despite being manufactured in Brazil, the decontamination chamber follows the construction protocol previously drawn up by the University of Oxford, in England.

A prototype was developed in the laboratory of Campus das Auroras, in Redenção/CE, using ultraviolet lamps.

With the first tests showing positive results, the students set out for the definitive and complete construction of the chamber.

Gefferson Fernandes, student lead on the project, said he was immensely proud to have been approved during Unilab's internal ion process to participate in this world-class initiative.

“The impact we want to have is that it actually stays in the community, in Redenção”, explains the student.

How it works

It is known that after radioactive exposure, it is possible to reuse the N95 mask. With the camera, the project's guiding professor, Dr. Sabi Yari Moïse Bandiri, says it is possible to decontaminate up to 50 pieces at a time.

The cost of the equipment was calculated at US$1,300 (approximately 6.5 thousand reais). Most of the amount is intended for the installation of 16 UV-C lamps, which are special "germicidal" lamps that emit high-intensity ultraviolet light, to purify the air, water and surfaces without the use of aggressive chemicals, which are harmful to the environment.

The protective masks (N95) are exposed to ultraviolet radiation for five minutes, with wavelengths between 200 nm and 280 nm (UV-C). After that time, the PPEs are safe for new use by health professionals.

After the completion of all stages of the project, the decontamination chamber will be donated to the Philanthropic Hospital of the municipality of Redenção, in Ceará.

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