Right at the frontline, treating patients infected with COVID-19, are medical staff who have dedicated countless hours to help others. Besides the disposal masks and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), a necessary protocol is to clean and disinfect medical equipment and devices before each use.
Professor Dr. Sanong Ekasit, Deputy Director of the Technopreneurship and Innovation Management Program, Graduate School and Professor at Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, together with Associate Professor Dr. Viwat Vchirawongkwin, and the Research team from Sensor Research Unit at Department of Chemistry, Chulalongkorn University, have designed and developed the VQ20 and VQ20+HP35 Hydrogen Peroxide Sprayers to disinfect viruses, bacteria, fungi and fungal spores. The technology has proven helpful in preventing infection during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Dr. Sanong talks about the beginning of the VQ20 and VQ20+HP35 Hydrogen Peroxide Sprayers and explains that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is natural for the medical staff, who are considered at high risk, to be worried about becoming infected. As a result, the research team became interested in inventing a sprayer with Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) for cleaning high risk areas, such as hospitals, operating rooms, and pharmaceutical and food factories. The spray helps destroy molds and viruses, effectively removes mold spores without leaving residue, and is environmentally friendly.
Professor Dr. Sanong further stated that sterilization with hydrogen peroxide is a standard medical practice, by which the hydrogen peroxide vapor can remove both germs in the air and on the surface of materials. Therefore, the research team designed and developed the VQ20 and VQ20+HP35 Hydrogen Peroxide Sprayers, which are smaller than 5 micrometers and can float in the air for long time. As the water evaporates, it creates nano particles and vapor of hydrogen peroxide that helps to disinfect the air and the surface material.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team has been using the VQ20 sprayer to create hydrogen peroxide drizzles with 3-7% intensity to clean ambulances, patient rooms, operating rooms, medical staff rooms, buses, taxis, sky trains, classrooms, meeting rooms, offices, and gyms. Likewise, the VQ20+HP35 sprayers were used to create hydrogen peroxide drizzles with 3-7% intensity to sterilize medical tools, such as N95 masks, face shields, and PPE suits and shoes.
Professor Dr. Sanong said the hydrogen peroxide sprayers in the market were all previously imported from foreign countries. The VQ20 and VQ20+HP35 hydrogen peroxide sprayers have been developed by Thai researchers under the support of research and innovation development funds from the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) and with support of Hydrogen Peroxide from AdityaBirla Chemical (Thailand) Ltd., the largest producer of hydrogen peroxide in Thailand.
“In the future, after the COVID-19 situation is resolved, we will move forward to develop other equipment projects. By collaborating with Startup businesses, especially medical equipment for cleaning, such as to sterilize utensils, dishes, and glasses for homes with young children, the elderly or patients”, concluded Professor Dr. Sanong.
Currently, the research team has installed the VQ20 sprayer at the Research Department, the Royal Thai Police, the Department of Health Service Support, the Division of Medical Engineering, the Ministry of Public Health, and Chulalongkorn University Demonstration Elementary School. The VQ20+HP35 sprayers have been set up at the Jongkonnee Building and the Emergency Medicine Department, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital. For government agencies or hospitals interested in the Hydrogen Peroxide Sprayers, please contact Ms. Patcharee Mongkholpong, Technopreneurship or the Innovation Management Program, Graduate School, Chulalongkorn University at 08-5234-3980.