The ultra-violet light technology used to kill invasive species in ships’ ballast water tanks can be used to protect seafarers, health workers and first-responders from picking up the coronavirus from surfaces. Bio-UV Group plans to have a surface disinfection system ready for market introduction by the end of May.

‘We mobilised our R&D team to develop a system of disinfection for surfaces intended, as a priority, for all nursing staff,’ says Bio-UV Group’s founder and CEO Benoít Gillmann. ‘However, the technology has potential application in other sectors.’

A prototype scanner based around the company’s UV-C reactor technology used in Bio-Sea ballast water treatment is currently being independently verified. The 50-centimetre handheld device emits a ray of UV-C which is passed over the surface, taking only seconds to disinfect the scanned area. The scanner can be used to kill the coronavirus from sickbay/hospital beds, tables, computer keyboards, furniture and all other surfaces.

Verification in laboratories

Bio-UV Group is verifying the capabilities, performance and reliability of the prototype in two CE-approved laboratories. ‘Since 6 April, progress has been made in the completion of a prototype, the performance of which is currently being tested in compliance with the strictest of international standards,’ adds Gillmann.

‘The aim of this testing is to validate the system’s capacity to disinfect and to eliminate all types of microorganisms using UV-C technology. Once this testing has been finalised, a second laboratory will work over the next few weeks on testing the efficacy of the system in eliminating Covid-19.’

If the UV-C scanner’s efficiency is successfully demonstrated, it will be introduced to medical personnel and healthcare workers from the end of May. The system will be marketed to other industrial sectors, including the maritime sector at a later stage.

In parallel, Bio-UV Group subsidiary Triogen is currently working on the development of a disinfection system for wet surfaces using ozone.