As we navigate the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study spearheaded by Professor Siddappa Byrareddy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in collaboration with Molekule reveals a significant breakthrough in air purification technology. The research, published in “Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety,” demonstrates the effectiveness of Molekule air purifiers, equipped with Photoelectrochemical Oxidation (PECO) technology, in trapping and destroying the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The research team conducted comprehensive laboratory tests and real-world evaluations in a multi-faceted approach. They used a specialized test chamber to assess the performance of Molekule Air Mini+ purifiers in capturing and neutralizing the virus. “The PECO technology in Molekule air purifiers showed a removal efficiency of 99.98% of SARS-CoV-2 in less than two minutes,” highlighted Professor Byrareddy.

The team utilized quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) and Immunofluorescence Assay (IFA) to quantify the virus’s presence and assess the purifiers’ effectiveness. These methods allowed for precise measurement of the virus in the air before and after using the purifiers. Further, the study ventured into a real-world setting—a COVID-19 testing facility—where Molekule Air Pro purifiers significantly reduced airborne SARS-CoV-2, as confirmed by negative RT-qPCR results post-operation.

“Our findings in a real-world scenario were consistent with our laboratory results, underscoring the effectiveness of Molekule air purifiers in reducing potential virus exposure,” said Professor Byrareddy. The study also explored the viral inactivation kinetics of the PECO filter media. By analyzing coated and uncoated filter media, the researchers could understand how the PECO technology actively neutralizes the virus.

The PECO technology is a game-changer in air purification, utilizing a unique process that captures and destroys microbes on the filter surface. This method generates reactive oxygen species, effectively oxidizing and inactivating pathogens like SARS-CoV-2.

In summary, this study presents compelling evidence of the effectiveness of PECO-assisted Molekule air purifiers in combating airborne viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. “This research opens the door for the wider adoption of advanced air purification technology in public spaces, offering a robust defence against airborne diseases,” concluded Professor Byrareddy.

Journal Reference

Acharya A, Surbaugh K, Thurman M, Wickramaratne C, Myers P, Mittal R, Pandey K, Klug E, Stein SJ, Ravnholdt AR, Herrera VL, Rivera DN, Williams P, Santarpia JL, Kaushik A, Dhau JS, Byrareddy SN. Efficient trapping and destruction of SARS-CoV-2 using PECO-assisted Molekule air purifiers in the laboratory and real-world settings. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2023 Oct 1;264:115487. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2023.115487. Epub 2023 Sep 18. PMID: 37729804.