UCT student creates cost-effective UVC device to sanitize surface and air


UCT student Rowyn Naidoo creates cost-effective UVC device to sanitize surface and air

University of Cape Town student Rowyn Naaidoo was recently challenged by his professor to develop a device that could help fight the COVID-19 pandemic and what he came up with is ingenious.

Naidoo, who is an electrical engineering student at UCT, has come up with an innovative and affordable short-wavelength ultraviolet-C (UVC) light device that disinfects surfaces, air and large rooms. The device can even be used to sanitise face masks, making them instantly reusable.

“I took the route of how we can destroy or inactivate the actual viruses that are around on a large scale, with a view towards getting our campuses and similar spaces functioning normally, but safely,” Naidoo told UCT News.

In short, the device uses the power of UVC light to kill viruses and micro-organisms by destroying their nucleic acids and deforming their DNA. Naidoo’s research for his device was obtained by the IES Photobiology Committee on germicidal ultraviolet radiation (IES 2020).

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According to research by the IES Photobiology Committee, the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is rendered non-infectious through the application of UVC radiation because it is able to “damage the RNA sequence and break up the bonds of the virus.”

According to Naidoo, UVC light also works on drug-resistant superbugs, fungi and bacteria, and disinfects in a matter of seconds or minutes – depending on the dosage.

Naidoo is close to finalising his innovative, short-wavelength ultraviolet-C (UVC) light system which includes a combination of wall or ceiling mounted lamps with occupancy detectors that turn on the UVC lights safely when no one is in the room to sanitize it.

Read more about Rowyn Naidoo’s ingenious design on UCT news and read more on the latest COVID-19 related news right here.

UVC Design By Rowyn Naidoo

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