Thammasat University invents UVC sterilizer pole to kill coronavirus

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Thammasat  University has invented a new innovation “UVC Sterilizer Pole” that can kill the COVID-19 virus within 20 minutes. It is suitable for large area usage such as open markets and shopping malls.

Thammasat School of Engineering (TSE) by Associate Professor Dr Thira Jiasiripongkul, Dean of TSE and Assoc.Prof.Dr.Sirima Mongkolsomlit, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs  at Faculty of Public Health, Thammasat University (TU) says, “UVC Sterilizer Pole is a 1.2-meter height pillar with lightbulbs on 4 sides that can destroy the outer layer of COVID-19 virus. The lightbulbs are installed at an angle of 20 degree so that it can radiate onto the floor or road surface.

“TSE UVC Sterilizer” is developed and created by Assistant Professor Dr Pradya Prempaneerach from the department of Mechanical Engineering, Thammasat School of Engineering (TSE). He has also developed “Tham – UV Clean”, a UVC chamber for face mask sterilizing to support healthcare worker’s work during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

Assistant Professor Dr Pradya Prempaneerach reveals, “This UVC sterilizer can completely inactivate COVID-19 virus in an open area. UVC is most effective at killing germs but it can also be dangerous to humans as it can irritate skins and affect your eyesight when you look at it even briefly.”

“We design it with the countdown timer. When the machine is turned on, it will start working after 5-10 minutes later so that the user can step back in time. After that, the machine will work autonomically for 20 minutes to sterilize the surface and the radiation length is about 2 meters away from the installation area.”, said Dr Pradya.

“The benefit of using UVC light to sterilize is that virus will be inactivated whenever the virus is exposed to the light. Unlike wiping with alcohol, it requires less human labor. However, the inactivation of the virus on surfaces may not be effective because of the blocking of light in some areas such as behind the surface area. The production cost of this UVC sterilizer is around 3,000-4,000 baht.”, said Dr Thira.

Associate Professor Dr Gasinee Witoonchart, TU’s Rector, states, “As a university for people that has centers around the country’s main strategic areas, TU always focuses on the improvement of quality of life along with academic services. Especially in the new wave of COVID-19 pandemic, Pathum Thani province was affected so badly that the market and the area were shut down and heavily controlled. Therefore, it is Thammasat’s mission to help relieve this problem.”

TU professors have collaboratively invented and produced 4 UVC sterilizer pole. Recently, the university gave them to Emergency Operation Center COVID-19, Pornpat market, to sterilize risk areas in the market.

“Professors and TSE staff offered their prompt support and only spent 2-3 days to produce the machine after coordinating with the Office of Disease Prevention and Control, Region 4. As a Rector, I would like to reassure that TU will continue to diligently support all sectors to fight against COVID-19. We believe that Thailand will overcome this disease outbreak for sure.”, said Associate Professor Gasinee Witoonchart.