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Coronavirus Webinars

Free webinars are being conducted as part of a comprehensive program to help decision makers overcome COVID. They include insights from world experts and analysis of the latest technology.  The webinars are organized around three subject areas

1.  Masks and Other PPE (next webinar August 20, 2020)

2.  Filters and HVAC (next webinar September 10, 2020)

3. Other Technologies ranging from decontamination to monitoring (next webinar October 1, 2020)

In each of these three segments linked below you can view past webinars and register for the next one.  There are speaking opportunities with priority being given to subscribers to the service

Masks and Other PPE          Filters and HVAC           Other Technologies

 

 

Masks and other PPE Webinars

High Efficiency Mask Market and Supplier Program

The biggest new market in the history of filtration involves high efficiency masks to conquer COVID. New evidence points to these masks as the most important weapon in the arsenal.  A comprehensive program has detailed market forecasts and technology analysis to establish the true cost of each alternative.  Click here to view a video description or Click here for the power point display

August 20, 2020 - Mask Selection Webinar

This webinar includes a discussion  major issues in mask selection. It includes a presentation by Wendover Brown of Vogmask followed by a discussion with contributions from Abhisek Saha of UCSD, Christine Sun of  WFI, Kari Lukkonnen of Fibertex, and Vladimir Paserin of VPM Research.  The challenge is to balance  wearer protection and wearer transmission.  Due the mounting evidence that much of the transmission is airborne  the needs for wearer protection are becoming paramount..  This risk is further  exacerbated by evidence that cloth masks act as aerosol generators for cough droplets after initial capture.  More analysis needs to be done on this important phenomenon.  UCSD has been doing considerable research on droolet evaporation and will be investigating the virus fate from cough droplets on surfaces and in media subjected to continuous air flow.

Vogmask is balancing the needs for air pollution and COVID  protection .  This includes comfort considerations  with varying degrees of exertion.  A unique design under development is a lock for a valved mask.  This will provide flexibility to better balance the need.

Nanofibers offer an attractive alternative to meltblowns.  Kari  Lukkonnen answered some questions about performance and availability.   A number of new media options were discussed.  Bob Mcilvaine predicted a robust market for masks through 2025 based on increasing awareness of indoor and outdoor pollution threats,  the present viruses, the  delay in achieving a fully effective vaccine against COVID and the likelihood of new viruses or at least the threat of them.

To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/YHN49FOzJ5Q

July 24, 2020 - Abhishek Saha Interview on Droplet Travel

Abhishek Saha ,Assistant Professor at University of California San Diego, explained that modeling shows respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze travel farther and last longer in humid, cold climates than in hot, dry ones. This is the conclusion of a study on droplet physics by an international team of engineers. The researchers incorporated this understanding of the impact of environmental factors on droplet spread into a new mathematical model that can be used to predict the early spread of respiratory viruses including COVID-19, and the role of respiratory droplets in that spread.

The team developed this new model to better understand the role that droplet clouds play in the spread of respiratory viruses. Their model is the first to be based on a fundamental approach taken to study chemical reactions called collision rate theory, which looks at the interaction and collision rates of a droplet cloud exhaled by an infected person with healthy people. Their work connects population-scale human interaction with their micro-scale droplet physics results on how far and fast droplets spread, and how long they last.

A second model is being developed to determine evaporated droplet nuclei spread.

Abhishek and Bob Mcilvaine then discussed how the model could be used to determine the small droplet and nuclei travel resulting from the initial capture of a large cough or sneeze droplet on the interior surface of a cloth mask. There was agreement of the likelihood that if the large droplet is initially captured in a mask with relatively large pores that small droplets may be generated by further exhalation along with evaporation. The group will be continuing their studies and would be open to funding to investigate this important phenomenon.

To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/F790vEfB4ws

July 23, 2020 - Interview with Mike Clark of Hollingsworth & Vose on filter media to vanquish COVID

Mike is Division President of High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration. This includes filters with higher than MERV 8 rating. Therefore the high efficiency filter efforts to vanquish COVID are within his group. His experience in cleanrooms provided perspective as he discussed the Mcilvaine concept of treating the world as one big cleanroom with internal space which has various cleanliness levels depending on the needs. Since H&V has products in the cleanest semiconductor and pharmaceutical space it can provide the highest levels of filter efficiency.

H&V manufactures filtration media for N95 respirators, ventilator filtration media and the materials used in surgical hoods. These are the products directly associated with healthcare. Recently it has been determined that much of the virus is transmitted in small aerosols. This means that air filter media in HVAC systems will be a major weapon in the battle H&V has a range of synthetic and microfiber glass media. Electrostatic charging is an option to improve performance for a relatively long period. For MERV 15 filter media for example Nanoweb and glass paper pressure drop is considerably less than standard media. Since upgrading the filtration efficiency of existing HVAC systems while minimizing any fan or HVAC system changes will be attractive the higher performance H&V media will have an advantage.

The company has manufacturing capabilities around the world. It has manufacturing and R&D facilities in China. Mike believes this Chinese capability is an asset. The company sells based on high quality and performance.

To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/7ZbONOv84pU

July 22, 2020 - Interview with Lloyd Armbrust on efficient masks to vanquish COVID

In this recorded interview Lloyd Armbrust, CEO of Armbrust American, describes his production and software background and his determination to help address the COVID problem.  He has set up a mask manufacturing facility in Austin Texas and is gearing up to produce up to 1.6 billion  highly efficient masks per year.   He already has 7 manufacturing lines in place and believes that within a few months he could expand to meet the goal.  He uses equipment which has short lead times such as Chinese Folders.  Much of the other equipment is domestically made and readily available.

He has his own meltblown manufacturing capability and is producing the 3 layer SMS media and  has his own electrostatic charging system.   He is able to achieve a high level of breathability while meeting the BFE requirements.  The electrostatic charge can last up to 24 hours. For this reason he believes that  inexpensive disposable masks are the best solution.

To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/4qN1rdBJAF4

July 15, 2020 - Interview with Markus Mϋller of Reicofil on meltblowns

Markus Müller is director of sales with the Reifenhäuser Group. On July 15, 2020 he was interviewed by Bob Mcilvaine and Ross Ardell of the Mcilvaine Company.

Reicofil is a major supplier of non woven production machinery.  It is currently supplying  one melt blown line per week and  one SMS composite line per month.  Although some melt blown lines have been built on an urgent basis in less than 4 months after order there is presently a substantial backlog of orders.

Markus explained the complexity in making meltblowns . “We’re talking about fibers where one filament has a diameter of less than one micron, so we are in the nano area,”  The media needs to be electrostatically charged.  If production is not executed properly this charge can be dissipated.  The big challenge is ensuring the uniformity in the media but other aspects such as avoiding oil droplet contamination from compressors are also needed.  To insure that the plants are designed to conform with customer needs there is a dedicated manager assigned to each project. A remote center can advise customers relative to the machines once they are in operation. Markus points to failures in meltblown production in China and elsewhere as examples of the difficulty in successfully designing and operating these plants.

In summary electrostatically charged meltblown media in masks  is a unique way to achieve capture of small virus particles without excessive pressure drop and reduction in breathability. Reicofil is dedicated to providing the machinery to make meltblowns  as well as composite media .  Due to the new proof that much of the virus transmission is from small aerosols, the demand for masks with the higher efficiency supplied by meltblowns is exceeding supply. However Reicofil is making a maximum effort  to address this need with machinery and processes which  will provide reliable products.

To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/4Q9fr9LX9KQ

June 18, 2020 Mask Policy Webinar is the Basis for Future Analysis and Discussion

This webinar was originally slated as three five-minute speeches and then a one-hour discussion based on a slide deck covering the mask selection issues. Due to the high quality and interest in the three presentations the discussion continued for more than one hour. Bob McIlvaine then provided a 30-minute overview in a separate recording.

To view the three speeches and discussions click here: https://youtu.be/lwVpSB7mkHk

The agenda is displayed at: http://home.mcilvainecompany.com/images/2020-06-18_Webinar/Agenda_for_Mask_Policy_06-18-20.pdf

The presenter power points are also posted.

Wendover Brown Vogmask: http://home.mcilvainecompany.com/images/2020-06-18_Webinar/Covid-19_Tech_Solutions_PPT_Vogmask.pdf

Jerry Fan, Mogul: http://home.mcilvainecompany.com/images/2020-06-18_Webinar/Madaline-face_mask_application.pdf

Jayesh Doshi, eSpin: http://home.mcilvainecompany.com/images/2020-06-18_Webinar/Mcilvaine_MASK%20Webinar_06182020Reduced.pdf

The overview by Bob McIlvaine can be viewed here:  http://home.mcilvainecompany.com/images/2020-06-18_Webinar/Mask_Webinar_06-18-20.pdf

Bobs overview recording can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/t38NEZteqgM

A background analysis reviewing all the factors is found at  Mask Policy Review

June 11, 2020 - Foot Sanitizer Provides Major Reduction in COVID Transmission

Since our earlier webinar with with PathO3Gen Solutions  there have been many more examples of foot sanitizers reducing pathogrens. Hospitals are quantifying the reduction of HAI including coronavirus with sanitizers placed at main entrances and to sensitive areas such as compounding pharmacies. Charlie Rodriguez and Robyn Collins explained why a combination of ozone and UV light makes a foot sanitizer very effective for reducing infections. The sanitizer is finding used in cleanrooms, food manufacturing, restaurants and other facilities To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/2k1_pB21wKw

April 23, 2020 - Hospital Masks and Air Filtration

This webinar hosted by Waterloo Filtration Institute included presentations by 5 people.  Tom Justice explained that Hospital HVAC systems are often inadequate and room air purifiers are being employed in Chinese hospitals even in non-critical areas.  Bob Burkhead explained that an N95 mask is tested on 0.1 micron particles and not 0.3 microns.  So, its efficiency in removing viruses is higher than indicated by the rating.  Peter Tsai reported tests which show that electrostatically charged masks retain efficiency when cleaned with H202 or modest heat.  Bob Mcilvaine reviewed the large variance in market projections based on variables which are as yet unclear.  Masks and filters rather than social distancing are the safest route for return to semi normal life. Stephen Nicholas reported on efficiency requirements for health care facilities which include Merv 14 or HEPA designs for many areas. Gajanan Bhat addressed the subject of face mask media including new membrane developments.

https://a4ab8fba-ca84-491c-aeb8-6ed7eb13ca9f.filesusr.com/ugd/f92d3a_c9f1bb92e781456caae19d15f35e0746.pdf

April 17, 2020 - Nanofiber membranes for masks will be more efficient, comfortable, and available

Mcilvaine publishes daily Coronavirus Market Alerts.  This analysis covers nanofiber membrane mask information appearing in the Alerts from April 3 through April 14.  Nanofiber membrane media for masks has the following advantages: (1) it is more efficient and can capture more viruses (2) it has lower pressure drop than the typical N95 mask with meltblowns (e) the media is readily available for production where as melt blown media is in short supply. Cummins and Dupont have teamed to provide masks using Dupont membrane technology.  The U.S army research shows a large number of potential media suppliers. Fibertex and HyFiber are also su0ppliers.  Several Chinese companies are making masks with membrane media and have demonstrated high efficiency after 10 washings.  Purafil has an anti microbial fiber. Wallace Leung provided an update on nanofiber mask research in Hong Kong.  To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/4vzWwNw6Al4

April 8, 2020 - Coronavirus Market Intelligence

Suppliers of filters, media, masks, instrumentation, and destruction technology are faced with short term decisions with long term consequences when pursuing the market created by COVID-19. The rapid changes in the market dictate continuous and accurate forecasting. This service meets these urgent needs with Daily Alerts, continually updated forecasts of the markets impacted by the coronavirus plus analysis of the technology. Continually updated forecasts are provided for masks, air filters, filter media, decontamination and monitoring.  To view this YouTube recording click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKEDhzUJyk4&feature=youtu.be

April 2, 2020 - Mask Design and Reuse

Five world experts from three countries made presentations regarding new filter media using nanofibers with higher efficiency and other advantages over the traditional spun bond/ meltblown laminate combination. Ways to efficiently decontaminate and reuse masks using H2O2 and UV torches were also examined. The present and future production of mask media in China and other countries was also covered. View this 100 minute webinar at: https://youtu.be/V2oEX0PgnTg

March 26, 2020 - Coronavirus Masks, Filters and Decontamination

Important issues such as virus airborne transmission and size were discussed by several experts. New filter media technology for masks which is more efficient than SMS was examined. Trends toward stylish N95 masks in China were reviewed. The need for room air purifiers in apartment buildings with sick tenants was also addressed.  To view this YouTube recording click here:  https://youtu.be/MttSotStbyE

March 13, 2020 - Face Masks and Respirators World Market

Presentation by McIlvaine analysts on the revenue increases caused by the pandemic. To view this YouTube recording click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz6Y3pJSmcI

March 13, 2020 Air Filtration and Purification World Markets with Coronavirus Supplement

The coronavirus will radically change the short term air filter market but will also have a major long term effect. More efficient filters will be installed at existing facilities and there will be many new applications and technology.  To view this YouTube recording click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b182d30y9SE&feature=youtu.be

 

 

 

Filters and HVAC Webinars

Air Filter Market and Supplier Program

A big investment in high efficiency filters and room air purifiers will be the best way to fight COVID.  A comprehensive program has detailed market forecasts and technology analysis to establish the true cost of each alternative.  Click here to view a video description or Click here for the power point display.

September 10, 2020 - Filters and HVAC Choices to Mitigate COVID

This 90 minute webinar covered  choices to filter the air in buildings and vehicles using the most cost effective products and technologies. The benefits include protection from air pollutants as well as viruses.  Christine Sun of Waterloo Filtration Institute outlined  the potential benefits. Bob Mcilvaine provided evidence that most COVID transmission is through small aerosols.  Some of these aerosols are generated when larger droplets are only temporarily captured by inefficient masks and filters.

Bob Burkhead of Blue Heaven Technologies then described the testing rig which could be adapted to test filter efficiency over time  and not just measure what is temporarily captured.  This rig allows recirculation of up to 1000 cfm and can measure degradation of meltblown media over time, ozone levels when ionizers are utilized, and other contaminants which need to be assessed over time. Barry Kellar, Saru Dawar, and Uwe Haffner of Freudenberg talked about the needs in vehicles where conditions are rapidly changing. The company is addressing the potential for aerosols generated from surfaces as well as directly from people and has an efficient filtration system which includes a surface layer of a proprietary citric acid compound which  inactivates the virus.  Freudenberg recognizes the role of very fine particles (smaller than 0.3 microns) and is looking at capture rates on activated carbon due to diffusion.  There was a brief discussion on the potential to spray citric acid in the vehicle interior similar to the Purdue concept of spraying food dyes into classrooms.  Bob Mcilvaine then summarized market aspects  such as the much higher efficiency of H13 filters than MERV 16 in capturing small particles and virus.  The decision on which product to choose is enhanced by a value system which takes into account lives saved and sickness reduced compared to the economic and life quality costs.

To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/kmtLmYYLuqw

To view PowerPoint Slides Click here: http://home.mcilvainecompany.com/images/Air_Filter_Webinar_2020-09-10.pdf

August 5, 2020 - Safe Buildings Interview with Tyler Smith of Johnson Controls

Tyler is General Manager - Controls Specialty Products at Johnson Controls and is in a unique position to evaluate ways to keep buildings safe. When Mcilvaine cited the impressive Johnson Controls program at a Wuhan hospital Tyler cited this as an example of the world wide reach and the ability to quickly deliver in an emergency.  Later on in the interview Tyler introduced the subject of schools in the U.S. which are now trying to open but in many ways are experiencing  the same level of urgency and need  the Wuhan hospitals did in January.

Tyler cited the value of focusing on those who are speaking and therefore potentially generating more virus than others.  This differs by grade level.   Johnson Controls has room air purifiers which can be an immediate solution. ENVIRCO fan filter units are another option for obtaining HEPA filtered downflow air economically covering a space.  This is in addition to the following

  • MERV 13 filters have been found to be of sufficient efficiency for many applications.  However, through its Koch Filter division Johnson Controls offers higher efficiency filters through HEPA.
  • York Air Handling Units: To reduce airborne pathogens within a building, mixed-air HVAC systems should focus on increasing outdoor air ventilation. York air handling units allow customers to maximize outside air to displace contaminated air and increase ventilation and air change rates.
  • Critical Environment Controls: Room pressurization, air change rates, humidity, and temperature are equally as important components in reducing airborne contaminants and preventing cross contamination within schools and buildings as they once were just for the healthcare and laboratory facilities. The Johnson Controls line of Critical Environment Controls includes the broadest suite of products in the industry.
  • UV-C Lighting: Disinfectant lighting solutions are necessary to reduce pathogens both on surfaces and in the air. Johnson Controls offers a comprehensive suite of disinfecting lighting products, including retrofit options to keep facility disruptions and installation costs to a minimum. Bipolar ionization is another technology which is being evaluated presently.

By integrating HVAC, lighting and security systems into a single digital platform like Johnson Controls Metasys® building automation system, building owners and operators can easily troubleshoot issues and implement system changes.

Tyler pointed out that the system can provide the right balance between energy consumption and safety. In areas with higher virus loads more efficient filters can be utilized and the number of air changes can be increased. More outside air can be used to dilute the virus load.  But this brings up the subject of the contaminant burden in outside vs indoor air. In polluted areas the particulate load from outside air will be significant.

The advantage which schools and building owners experience with Johnson  Controls is the local assistance from  120 branch  locations in North America with 13,600 field technicians and mechanics.

To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/6D-bu3MZ5bQ

July 23, 2020 - Interview with Mike Clark of Hollingsworth & Vose on filter media to vanquish COVID

Mike is Division President of High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration. This includes filters with higher than MERV 8 rating. Therefore the high efficiency filter efforts to vanquish COVID are within his group. His experience in cleanrooms provided perspective as he discussed the Mcilvaine concept of treating the world as one big cleanroom with internal space which has various cleanliness levels depending on the needs. Since H&V has products in the cleanest semiconductor and pharmaceutical space it can provide the highest levels of filter efficiency.

H&V manufactures filtration media for N95 respirators, ventilator filtration media and the materials used in surgical hoods. These are the products directly associated with healthcare. Recently it has been determined that much of the virus is transmitted in small aerosols. This means that air filter media in HVAC systems will be a major weapon in the battle H&V has a range of synthetic and microfiber glass media. Electrostatic charging is an option to improve performance for a relatively long period. For MERV 15 filter media for example Nanoweb and glass paper pressure drop is considerably less than standard media. Since upgrading the filtration efficiency of existing HVAC systems while minimizing any fan or HVAC system changes will be attractive the higher performance H&V media will have an advantage.

The company has manufacturing capabilities around the world. It has manufacturing and R&D facilities in China. Mike believes this Chinese capability is an asset. The company sells based on high quality and performance.

To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/7ZbONOv84pU

July 15, 2020 - qlAir interviewed on holistic approach to providing clean air solutions for COVID

Ellie Amirnasr and Marcel Schoch are spearheading a holistic approach to provide clean air as a service.  The new requirement to address COVID makes this effort even more important. qlAir is an entity within  Mann + Hummel .  The company name is pronounced as Claire.

The holistic approach includes sensors and monitoring, problem identification solutions, and then continuing evaluation of the effectiveness of the solution . A big potential for balancing air quality management, equipment maintenance and energy savings lies within broader use of sensors, data analytics and IoT (Internet of Things). Continuous air quality monitoring can be used to identify critical areas and patterns in indoor air quality and to select appropriate mitigation solutions. Combined with tracking and analyzing filter performance over time and the usage of an optimized ventilation schedule based on real data.

Ellie and Marcel explained how measurement of particles, CO2, humidity and other air constituents can be the basis for providing COVID mitigaton solutions which balance effectiveness and cost.  The use of the approach in a mall was discussed. The degree of social distancing and the percentage of outside air in a given space can be determined based on CO2 content. An actual case history in a hospital was used as an example.  The problem was VOC reduction but the approach would be the same for COVID minimization.

To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/T0HJF5MVDU0

July 9, 2020 - Interview with Nathaniel Nance of AAF Flanders on COVID mitigation with a holistic air treatment concept

Nathaniel Nance is now AAF Flanders Vice President of Global R&D-HVAC.  He has been with AAF Flanders since 2008.  He was interviewed by Bob Mcilvaine and Ross Ardell from the Mcilvaine Company.  Nathaniel espouses a holistic concept which encourages collaboration among filtration experts, universities, HVAC companies, contractors, regulators and local governments to mitigate COVID and improve the air we breathe.  He points out that a glass of dirty air and a glass of clean air look the same. What we do not see are the range of pollutants which exist.  COVID adds to the challenge.  There are good, better and best filter options at every efficiency level.  The best have the lowest energy consumption and longest life.  Membranes have efficiency and strength advantages over micro fiber glass.  He calls for a city wide filtration concept to harness the local winds.  As part of Daikin, the largest air conditioning company in the world, AAF Flanders is in a unique position to provide holistic answers.
To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/3nqNhOwBHuQ

May 1, 2020 - CRI Fan Filter Units for Hospitals and Industry

Tim Werkema and Bret Asper of Cleanrooms International discussed the recent activity in converting hospital rooms to negative pressure isolation units using their fan filter units. The units are supplied with wheels for convenient temporary installation.  They can be used without ductwork or with a duct through the wall or a window to the outside. The units have variable speed drives and air flow can be controlled.  The company was able to meet the sudden demand by hospitals for thousands of these units.  The 2 ft x 4 ft HEPA filter is efficient at removing viruses.   The company is equipped to meet the rising demand in meat processing and other industries as well as in healthcare.  To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/Bm3_Q0a0r2E 

April 23, 2020 - Hospital Masks and Air Filtration

This webinar hosted by Waterloo Filtration Institute included presentations by 5 people.  Tom Justice explained that Hospital HVAC systems are often inadequate and room air purifiers are being employed in Chinese hospitals even in non-critical areas.  Bob Burkhead explained that an N95 mask is tested on 0.1 micron particles and not 0.3 microns.  So, its efficiency in removing viruses is higher than indicated by the rating.  Peter Tsai reported tests which show that electrostatically charged masks retain efficiency when cleaned with H202 or modest heat.  Bob Mcilvaine reviewed the large variance in market projections based on variables which are as yet unclear.  Masks and filters rather than social distancing are the safest route for return to semi normal life. Stephen Nicholas reported on efficiency requirements for health care facilities which include Merv 14 or HEPA designs for many areas. Gajanan Bhat addressed the subject of face mask media including new membrane developments.

https://a4ab8fba-ca84-491c-aeb8-6ed7eb13ca9f.filesusr.com/ugd/f92d3a_c9f1bb92e781456caae19d15f35e0746.pdf

April 17, 2020 - Nanofiber membranes for masks will be more efficient, comfortable, and available

Mcilvaine publishes daily Coronavirus Market Alerts.  This analysis covers nanofiber membrane mask information appearing in the Alerts from April 3 through April 14.  Nanofiber membrane media for masks has the following advantages: (1) it is more efficient and can capture more viruses (2) it has lower pressure drop than the typical N95 mask with meltblowns (e) the media is readily available for production where as melt blown media is in short supply. Cummins and Dupont have teamed to provide masks using Dupont membrane technology.  The U.S army research shows a large number of potential media suppliers. Fibertex and HyFiber are also su0ppliers.  Several Chinese companies are making masks with membrane media and have demonstrated high efficiency after 10 washings.  Purafil has an anti microbial fiber. Wallace Leung provided an update on nanofiber mask research in Hong Kong.  To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/4vzWwNw6Al4

April 8, 2020 - Coronavirus Market Intelligence

Suppliers of filters, media, masks, instrumentation, and destruction technology are faced with short term decisions with long term consequences when pursuing the market created by COVID-19. The rapid changes in the market dictate continuous and accurate forecasting. This service meets these urgent needs with Daily Alerts, continually updated forecasts of the markets impacted by the coronavirus plus analysis of the technology. Continually updated forecasts are provided for masks, air filters, filter media, decontamination and monitoring.  To view this YouTube recording click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKEDhzUJyk4&feature=youtu.be

April 2, 2020 - Mask Design and Reuse

Five world experts from three countries made presentations regarding new filter media using nanofibers with higher efficiency and other advantages over the traditional spun bond/ meltblown laminate combination. Ways to efficiently decontaminate and reuse masks using H2O2 and UV torches were also examined. The present and future production of mask media in China and other countries was also covered. View this 100 minute webinar at: https://youtu.be/V2oEX0PgnTg

March 26, 2020 - Coronavirus Masks, Filters and Decontamination

Important issues such as virus airborne transmission and size were discussed by several experts. New filter media technology for masks which is more efficient than SMS was examined. Trends toward stylish N95 masks in China were reviewed. The need for room air purifiers in apartment buildings with sick tenants was also addressed.  To view this YouTube recording click here:  https://youtu.be/MttSotStbyE

March 13, 2020 Air Filtration and Purification World Markets with Coronavirus Supplement

The coronavirus will radically change the short term air filter market but will also have a major long term effect. More efficient filters will be installed at existing facilities and there will be many new applications and technology.  To view this YouTube recording click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b182d30y9SE&feature=youtu.be

 

 

 

Other Technologies Webinars

The next Other Technologies webinar is scheduled for 10:00am CDT October 1, 2020.  To register click here

This webinar will continue the analysis created in previous webinars which you can view below

June 11, 2020 - Foot Sanitizer Provides Major Reduction in COVID Transmission

Since our earlier webinar with with PathO3Gen Solutions there have been many more examples of foot sanitizers reducing pathogrens. Hospitals are quantifying the reduction of HAI including coronavirus with sanitizers placed at main entrances and to sensitive areas such as compounding pharmacies. Charlie Rodriguez and Robyn Collins explained why a combination of ozone and UV light makes a foot sanitizer very effective for reducing infections. The sanitizer is finding used in cleanrooms, food manufacturing, restaurants and other facilities To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/2k1_pB21wKw

April 23, 2020 - Hospital Masks and Air Filtration

This webinar hosted by Waterloo Filtration Institute included presentations by 5 people.  Tom Justice explained that Hospital HVAC systems are often inadequate and room air purifiers are being employed in Chinese hospitals even in non-critical areas.  Bob Burkhead explained that an N95 mask is tested on 0.1 micron particles and not 0.3 microns.  So, its efficiency in removing viruses is higher than indicated by the rating.  Peter Tsai reported tests which show that electrostatically charged masks retain efficiency when cleaned with H202 or modest heat.  Bob Mcilvaine reviewed the large variance in market projections based on variables which are as yet unclear.  Masks and filters rather than social distancing are the safest route for return to semi normal life. Stephen Nicholas reported on efficiency requirements for health care facilities which include Merv 14 or HEPA designs for many areas. Gajanan Bhat addressed the subject of face mask media including new membrane developments.

https://a4ab8fba-ca84-491c-aeb8-6ed7eb13ca9f.filesusr.com/ugd/f92d3a_c9f1bb92e781456caae19d15f35e0746.pdf

April 17, 2020 - Nanofiber membranes for masks will be more efficient, comfortable, and available

Mcilvaine publishes daily Coronavirus Market Alerts.  This analysis covers nanofiber membrane mask information appearing in the Alerts from April 3 through April 14.  Nanofiber membrane media for masks has the following advantages: (1) it is more efficient and can capture more viruses (2) it has lower pressure drop than the typical N95 mask with meltblowns (e) the media is readily available for production where as melt blown media is in short supply. Cummins and Dupont have teamed to provide masks using Dupont membrane technology.  The U.S army research shows a large number of potential media suppliers. Fibertex and HyFiber are also su0ppliers.  Several Chinese companies are making masks with membrane media and have demonstrated high efficiency after 10 washings.  Purafil has an anti microbial fiber. Wallace Leung provided an update on nanofiber mask research in Hong Kong.  To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/4vzWwNw6Al4

April 8, 2020 - Coronavirus Market Intelligence

Suppliers of filters, media, masks, instrumentation, and destruction technology are faced with short term decisions with long term consequences when pursuing the market created by COVID-19. The rapid changes in the market dictate continuous and accurate forecasting. This service meets these urgent needs with Daily Alerts, continually updated forecasts of the markets impacted by the coronavirus plus analysis of the technology. Continually updated forecasts are provided for masks, air filters, filter media, decontamination and monitoring.  To view this YouTube recording click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKEDhzUJyk4&feature=youtu.be

April 2, 2020 - Mask Design and Reuse

Five world experts from three countries made presentations regarding new filter media using nanofibers with higher efficiency and other advantages over the traditional spun bond/ meltblown laminate combination. Ways to efficiently decontaminate and reuse masks using H2O2 and UV torches were also examined. The present and future production of mask media in China and other countries was also covered. View this 100 minute webinar at: https://youtu.be/V2oEX0PgnTg

March 26, 2020 - Coronavirus Masks, Filters and Decontamination

Important issues such as virus airborne transmission and size were discussed by several experts. New filter media technology for masks which is more efficient than SMS was examined. Trends toward stylish N95 masks in China were reviewed. The need for room air purifiers in apartment buildings with sick tenants was also addressed.  To view this YouTube recording click here:  https://youtu.be/MttSotStbyE

March 24, 2020 - Foot Sanitizer for Cost Effective HAI and COVID-19 Reduction

A discussion with PathO3Gen Solutions executives relative to the reduction of HAI including coronavirus at hospitals, pharmaceutical, food manufacturers as well as public places. Charlie Rodriguez and Robyn Collins explained why a combination of ozone and UV light makes a foot sanitizer very effective for reducing infections.  To view this YouTube recording click here: https://youtu.be/qxcnV7Z6I9g

 

Coronavirus Market Alert

March 23, 2020

  • OVERVIEW
  • MASKS
  • AIR FILTRATION

Overview

Masks and Filters would allow Businesses to Reopen and Create a Huge Market

The economic consequences of the business shutdowns are staggering. There is going to be great pressure to reopen businesses while  reducing coronavirus risk.

China was producing 10 million masks per day on January 1.  On March 1 the number was 200 million (N95 mask production increased from 200,000 to 1.6 million).  With this rate of increase could they reach 800 million in June.  The U.S. is talking a million masks here and a million masks there but what if a World War II type expansion took place?

Businesses would be relatively safe if workers wore masks and traveled to work on public transportation which was frequently sanitized and equipped with HEPA filtered air systems.  If when they arrived at work there were upgraded central air systems and room purifiers in strategic locations wouldn’t the risk of infection be greatly reduced?

One big concern has been the temporary nature of the emergency. But there is likely to be a new attitude toward pandemics in the future. The Three Mile Island nuclear incident resulted in significant safety related expenditures in every  nuclear plant  built subsequently.  Virus protection could be viewed in a similar manner.

Proactive Suppliers will find the Most Profitable Market

Deaths and sickness combined with social distancing and economic disruption caused by the coronavirus create costs to society which can be weighed against the benefits.

A cost-benefit analysis has been prepared and can be viewed at http://home.mcilvainecompany.com/images/Coronavirus_Mitigation_Cost.pdf

Here is one example where a room purifier cost per year versus the number of lives that would need to be saved to justify the investment are calculated.  The following slides in the series show that widespread use  is justified to prevent a pandemic the scale of the Spanish flu but not the swine flu.  On the other hand for an apartment dweller in a building where another tenant is self-isolated the use of the room purifier is justified many times over even if the risk level is that of the swine flu.

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Industry has the potential to innovate and make a big contribution to coronavirus mitigation. Countless hours have been spent to perfect monitoring and particulate removal techniques to keep our air clean.  Equal amounts have been spent to protect our pharmaceutical products through sophisticated cleanroom technology.  We are now facing an even bigger threat and our primary solution is social distancing and shutting down the economy. There is a better solution.

There is a shocking lack of hard information about the fundamental science. The filtration and monitoring industry needs to take a proactive rather than reactive approach. Some of the advice we have been receiving is questionable at least.

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Some Asian countries have used technology to be proactive. They have tested extensively and tracked movements and contacts of those infected. As early as January 1 the Taiwan Railway Administration said that if the virus continues to spread it would refuse to carry passengers not wearing masks.

Many Asian countries have very efficient air filtration systems in buildings and residences.  Monitoring has progressed to where electronic screens provide the current PM 2.5 concentrations.  Is it possible that one reason there are more deaths in Italy than China is the better indoor air filtration?

The irony is that the countries with the worst outdoor pollution may be better off.  The more efficient indoor air filtration systems are reducing transmission through HVAC systems.

The facts versus conventional wisdom make it clear that filtration and monitoring technology can make a big difference.  Here are a few of the potential innovations.

  • Use PM2.5 as a surrogate for the virus and expand the monitoring to individual indoor spaces. PM2.5 is already used as a surrogate for heavy metals by U.S EPA. The assumption is that if the filter captures all the particles it will capture the lead and cadmium.
  • Require all those in quarantine to rent room air purifiers and reduce PM 2.5 to the equivalent of 10 air changes per hour or some other suitable number.
  • Use small air purifiers throughout sensitive areas. (the Chinese have $50 fans with a HEPA filter for small areas)
  • Require air purifiers in public transportation including ride sharing and taxis. (A fundamental cleanroom technology principle is to capture particles while airborne so that they do not deposit on surfaces.)
  • Utilize various destruction methods including ozone and UV light. (A Florida hospital has reduced HAI by 34% since implementing the use of a footwear sanitizing station)
  • Improve mask technology to increase comfort, lower pressure drop and increase capture efficiency.
  • Develop improved microbial sampling techniques.
  • Utilize advanced cleanroom technology in critical hospital areas
    • HEPA filtered entry zones such as gowning areas for hospital personnel
    • Require operating theaters to use 100% HEPA filtered air and 100 fpm ceiling to perforated floor flow
    • Radically revise gowning protocols including quality of gowns, face masks, gloves etc.
    • Use cleanroom protocols for gown donning and disposal
    • Reduce investments in hospital decoration and eliminate pockets of virus growth
    • Turn isolation rooms into Class 100 cleanrooms.
    • Provide hospital wide contamination monitoring systems
  • Utilize portable cleanrooms for emergency overflows of patients requiring isolation (Australian hospitals have them)

Life Quality Costs need to be considered by a Proactive Supplier

Epidemiologists believe that COVID-19 will re-occur periodically over the next several years until a vaccine is in widespread use.  Various degrees of social distancing may therefore be warranted.  Alternatively  initiatives such as the wearing of masks in public places and upgrading HVAC systems will offset some of the social distancing. It is therefore necessary to determine the negative impact on life quality of protocols such as social distancing.  There is a negative life quality impact of wearing a mask in public.  This can also be quantified.

McIlvaine has developed a metric to measure all life quality impacts.  It is discussed in the Coronavirus Cost Benefit Analysis.  In the example below the social cost of distancing a whole population for one year would be justified to prevent a pandemic the size of the Spanish flu but not the Swine flu.

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Visitors to a hospital as well as patients and staff enjoy the art on the walls and other niches for germ growth.  Visitors do not like a requirement to wear masks.  One consideration is that all vsitors to hospitals wear masks. This can be justifed economically if one life is saved every 100 years.

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There is a social cost.  Each visitor may equate wearing a mask on a visit as equivalent to one minute of life quality lost.  In the aggregate this equates to 0.2 life years. The life of one patient who could have lived 50 additional years can be compared 50/0.2 and the conclusion reached that the life quality cost can be justified if one patient is saved every 250 years.  Assuming the life quality cost for family and others is equal to that of the patient, the wearing of masks can be justified on saving one life every 500 years.

Justifying Social Distancing Reduction Now by discounting the Future Harm Value of Virus Prevention Products

Sanitizers, ozone treatment, and certain other technology can reduce the incidence of coronavirus in the short term but can have long term effects on health life quality.  In weighing the costs and benefits it is necessary to evaluate the  discount of any harm based on when it will occur. For example FAR UV could be saving lives now but might cause cancer 30 or 40 years from now. The present harm has to include a discount based on the number of years in the future the harm will occur.  This is considered in the cost benefit analysis.

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MASKS

Overview

  • Demand is Greater than Supply
  • WHO Analyzes Mask Shortage
  • Shortage of Masks Sparks Controversies Among Countries

Chinese Mask Supply

  • Sinopec Moving from Resin to Mask Supplier
  • Chinese Car Companies become Mask Suppliers
  • Chinese Supply vs Demand
  • Chinese Melt Blown Media Supply and Suppliers

Suppliers and Associations

  • ASHRAE Guidance on Coronavirus
  • Johnson Controls and Chinese Hospital
  • Medline encounters Supply Problems
  • Monadnock has Range of Medical Face Mask Media
  • Secure Mask Supply Association battles for U.S. Based Supply Capability
  • Superior Filter has Both Melt Blown and Needle Punched Media for Masks
  • SWM supplies Melt Blown Media and Film for Surface Layer

______________________________________________________________________________

Overview

Demand is Greater than Supply

The problem with demand is that individuals are buying the masks and causing a shortage for health care workers who need them. If world demand per capita reaches that in China, 5 billion masks would be used each day. This is far above world capacity. Governments will have to regulate mask sales so that those at most risk receive them. Here is the type of analysis which is the basis for our projections.

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The mask production depends on meltblown media. A ton of media will make 1 million disposable masks or 200,000 N95 masks. We will be probing the demand and capacity on a continuing basis for each country.  

Sinopec is a major Chinese petrochemical producer. They have teamed with mask makers and are building assembly lines at an astounding rate. The first project completed a few days ago took less than three months and has two non-woven production lines and three spunbond production lines and can produce up to 4 tons of melt-blown fabric for 1.2 million N95 disposable masks or 6 tons for 6 million disposable masks per day.

Sinopec plans to start production at eight more meltblown nonwoven fabric production lines in Jiangsu province by the middle of next month. Upon completion, the ten production lines will be able to produce fabric for 3.6 million N95 respirators or 18 million surgical masks every day.

WHO Analyzes Mask Shortage

The World Health Organization is sounding the alarm about a growing shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), and the issue extends well beyond the much-publicized medical mask shortage.

Last  week the organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, MSc, PhD, said the lack of supplies undermines the entire global effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. “We can’t stop COVID-19 without protecting health workers first,” Ghebreyesus said.

From the earliest days of the current coronavirus threat, news organizations featured videos of Chinese residents wearing facial masks on the street in hopes of protecting themselves from transmission of the virus. As the virus has spread, so too has demand for masks.

However, epidemiologists and other public health officials in the United States and elsewhere have repeatedly urged the public to avoid purchasing masks, noting that the masks don’t offer the general public meaningful protection from the virus. In a series of tweets and public appearances, United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, has repeatedly asked the public to stop buying masks.

“They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!” he wrote, in a February 29th tweet.

However, the WHO’s update this week makes clear that the dangerous lack of medical supplies is not limited to masks. Global supplies of gloves, respirators, goggles, face shields, medical gowns, and aprons are also increasingly under stress.

The WHO late last month put out guidelines for what it says are “rational and appropriate” use of PPE in health care organizations. They include eliminating the need for PPE in some instances by using telemedicine and restricting the number of workers who enter the rooms of patients with COVID-19.

The organization said its models suggest some 89 million medical masks will be needed each month to deal with the spread of COVID-19, along with 76 million examination gloves, and 1.6 million sets of goggles.

Ghebreyesus said meeting that demand will not only take restraint on the part of the general public, but also action on the part of governments and the medical supply industry.

“Without secure supply chains, the risk to healthcare workers around the world is real,” Ghebreyesus said. “Industry and governments must act quickly to boost supply, ease export restrictions and put measures in place to stop speculation and hoarding.”

With the shortages have come spikes in prices, the WHO said. Mask prices have grown six-fold, N95 respirators have tripled in costs, and the cost of gowns has doubled.

Ghebreyesus said medical supply companies will need to ramp up production by about 40% in order to meet demand. Governments could aid in this effort by creating incentives for companies to manufacture the equipment, he said.

For its part, US Department of Health and Human Services this week announced it will purchase 500 million N95 respirators over the coming 18 months to add to the nation’s Strategic National Stockpile.

Meanwhile, the WHO said it has sent PPE supplies to 47 countries so far, mostly to smaller countries in Africa and Asia.

Shortage of Masks Sparks Controversies among Countries

South KoreaGermany and Russia announced export bans of masks and other protective gear. They join others nation or territories including India, Taiwan, Thailand, and Kazakhstan that earlier put export bans in place.

Before the epidemic, China produced about half of the world’s output of masks with daily production of about 20 million units, according to state media Xinhua. Factories have since boosted production more than five-fold and are enlisting carmakers to manufacture them. That’s still not enough.

In the U.S., increased efforts by mask makers 3M Co. and DuPont De Nemours Inc. are also falling short of demand. DuPont, which makes masks and protective body suits worn by first responders, said it’s increased production by more than three times its usual global capacity. 3M, the biggest American manufacturer of N95 respirators, has increased production since the outbreak in China.

“We’ve added staff, we’ve added overtime, we’ve added technology, we’ve been increasing manufacturing lines,” said 3M spokeswoman Jennifer Ehrlich. “We expect this demand for respirators and other supplies to continue to outpace supply for the foreseeable future.”

The dependence on China and a few other countries for masks has some calling for a rethink of supply chains. The World Medical Association, which represents physicians, wants governments to establish factories in major markets like the European Union and the U.S. to ensure adequate supply of critical drugs, vaccines and other medical necessities.

The U.S only has about 1% of the 3.5 billion masks it needs to combat a serious outbreak, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has said. The country plans to buy 500 million surgical masks and N95 respirators for the national stockpile.

South Korea said on March 5 that it will bolster its control over the production of key materials used for protective masks, as the country is struggling to expand the supply of sanitary products amid the spread of the novel coronavirus here.

The country will ban all exports of melt-blown nonwoven fabric filter, the key material essential for the production of protective masks, although exceptions can be granted. The country will help companies expand their production capabilities as well, while reaching out to other countries to import the fabric.

Chinese Mask Supply

Sinopec Moving from Resin to Mask Supplier

China Petrochemical Corp known as Sinopec Corp,  put its first melt-blown non-woven fabric assembly line into operation at its Yanshan factory in Beijing on March 6. The Yanshan factory is a converted 3600 square meter old warehouse that has found new life as a global production base following the challenges brought by the coronavirus outbreak. 

The 14,400-ton capacity Yanshan facility is one of Sinopec's two melt-blown non-woven fabric assembly bases and is co-managed with China National Machinery Industry Corporation. The base has two non-woven production lines and three spunbond production lines and can produce up to 4 tons of melt-blown fabric for 1.2 million N95 disposable masks or 6 tons for 6 million disposable masks per day.

The new facility also takes advantage of Sinopec's integrated upstream supply-chain by sourcing local materials from Yanshan and support from the on-site synthetic resin production line. 

"It normally takes about half a year to complete the construction of a 10,000-ton melt-blown fabric factory - We have done it in 12 days, 48 hours ahead of schedule. In a challenging time like this, saving 48 hours means that we can produce an extra 12 million disposable masks," said Lv Dapeng, Spokesperson of Sinopec Corp.

The largest medical material supplier in China, Sinopec is a significant supplier of polypropylene, a key component in the production of disposable masks for medical use. The new assembly line will ensure a stable supply of medical supplies, such as masks and clothing, can be distributed across the nation and worldwide. 

"We are privileged to support those who are protecting us from the virus. Sinopec will utilize all of our resources to ensure supplies to the frontline are guaranteed," said Lv. 

Sinopec plans to start production at eight more meltblown nonwoven fabric production lines in Jiangsu province by the middle of next month after commissioning two new units in Beijing on Saturday. Upon completion, the 10 production lines will be able to produce fabric for 3.6 million N95 respirators or 18 million surgical masks every day, it said.

The price of meltblown nonwoven fabric has been surging since the outbreak started, from around 12,000 yuan ($1,726) per ton to 400,000 yuan per ton. The price surged to 700,000 yuan per ton on Feb 24, The market price of the product is expected to gradually come down from its current peak, said Li Li, research director at energy consulting company ICIS China.

China's centrally administered State-owned enterprises have been accelerating work in the production of meltblown nonwoven fabric to help the anti-epidemic fight, with daily production capacity of meltblown nonwoven fabric reaching 26 tons as of March 6 and the same is expected to grow significantly in the coming weeks, said the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.

Chinese Car Companies become Mask Suppliers

Chinese automakers BYD Co. and GAC Motor Co. are preparing to produce face masks and disinfectants to help motorists and the public ward off the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in China.

Two BYD plants in the south China province of Guangdong were expected to be churning out 5 million face masks and 50,000 bottles of disinfectants a day by the end of the March. The first batch of face masks and disinfectants was donated to drivers of public buses, taxis and ride-hailing fleets as well as volunteers fighting the viral outbreak. 

Masks and disinfectant will also be sold to the public at factory prices. The two plants will keep producing masks and disinfectant until the end of the epidemic. The company is currently mobilizing employees to find sources of meltblown cloth. It is not only BYD that lacks melt-blown cloth. Many companies preparing to produce masks across borders also face this problem.

GAC, a state-owned automaker based in the south China city of Guangzhou, has dispatched a team of employees to an equipment manufacturer in nearby Dongguan to learn how to produce face masks. 

Hainan Ganlin Technology Group is a company engaged in agricultural business. The general manager of the company said that because farmers could not find sufficient and reliable masks, which affected agricultural production, he purchased mask machines to build production lines, hoping to connect with sufficient meltblown cloth resources. At present, the company has contacted Sinopec but found that meltblown cloth is still scarce.

Chinese Supply vs Demand

Medical surgical masks and N95 masks generally use a multilayer structure, referred to as the SMS structure: a single layer of spunbond on the inside and outside; the middle is the meltblown layer, generally divided into single layers or multiple layers.

Among them, the outer layer is a non-woven fabric with a waterproof treatment, which is mainly used to isolate the droplets sprayed by patients; the middle melt-blown layer is a specially-treated melt-blown non-woven fabric with good filterability. Shielding, thermal insulation and oil absorption, is an important raw material for the production of masks; the inner layer is ordinary non-woven fabric.

Although the spunbond layer of the mask and the meltblown layer are non-woven fabrics, and the raw materials are polypropylene, the manufacturing process is not the same.

Among them, the diameter of the spunbond layer fibers on the inner and outer sides is relatively thick, about 20 microns; the fiber diameter of the meltblown layer in the middle is only 2 microns, and it is made of a polypropylene material called high-melt-finger fiber.

China is the world’s largest non-woven fabric producer. The production volume of non-woven fabrics in 2018 was about 5.94 million tons, but the output of meltblown non-woven fabrics was very low.

According to the statistics of China Industrial Textile Industry Association, the production technology of China’s nonwovens industry is mainly spunbond. In 2018, the output of spunbond non-woven fabrics was 2.971 million tons, accounting for 50% of the total output of non-woven fabrics, mainly used in sanitary materials and other fields; meltblown processes accounted for only 0.9%.

From this calculation, in 2018, the output of domestic meltblown nonwovens was 53,500 tons / year. These meltblown cloths are used not only for masks, but also for environmental protection materials, clothing materials, battery separator materials, wiping materials, and the like.

During the epidemic, the demand for masks has increased significantly. According to the data of the Fourth National Economic Census, the total employment of domestic legal entities and self-employed households is as high as 533 million people. Based on one mask per person per day, at least 533 million masks are required per day.

Chinese Melt Blown Media Supply and Suppliers

Data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology shows that currently the maximum daily production capacity of domestic masks is 20 million as of January 2020.

The gap in masks is huge, and many companies are beginning to produce masks across borders. According to the data of Tian’s Eye Examination, based on the changes in industrial and commercial registration information, from January 1 to February 7, 2020, more than 3,000 companies across the country have added “masks, protective clothing, disinfectants, thermometers, medical equipment, etc.”

Compared to mask manufacturers, there are not many manufacturers of meltblown nonwovens.

The current companies producing meltblown nonwovens are Hengtian Jiahua Nonwoven Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Hengtian Jiahua), Xinlong Holdings, Sinopec, Shandong Dongying Junfu Non-woven Co., Ltd., and Quantum Golden Boat (Tianjin) Nonwoven Co., Ltd.

Hengtian Jiahua is a non-woven fabric manufacturing enterprise jointly invested in by China Hengtian Group and Xiantao Jiahua Plastic Products Co., Ltd. China Hengtian Group is the world’s largest textile machinery manufacturing company.

On January 27, Hengtian Jiahua announced that the company’s entire plant was put into production and the output reached 120 tons/day. The products include non-woven fabrics for face masks, non-woven fabrics for meltblown filtration, and non-woven fabrics for bottom surfaces.

Xinlong Holdings was established in Hainan Province in July 1993 and listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 1999. It claims to be the first listed company in China’s non-woven industry, and it is also the construction and operation unit of the “National Nonwoven Materials Engineering Technology Research Center”.

Xinlong Holding’s meltblown non-woven workshop for mask bacteria filtering runs 24 hours to ensure the supply of raw materials to downstream mask manufacturers. Xinlong Holdings owns production bases in Hainan, Hubei and Hunan.

Shandong Dongying Junfu Nonwovens Co., Ltd. is a non-woven fabrics manufacturing enterprise jointly established by Hong Kong Tianyi Industrial Co., Ltd. and Guangdong Junfu Group. The company’s total investment exceeds 100 million yuan, and the goal is to build a large non-woven fabric production base in northern China.

The company is a meltblown non-woven fabric manufacturer, which mainly supplies raw materials for the production of daily protective masks, medical masks and industrial dust masks. Recently, in order to ensure the production for the epidemic, the company received advance funds from Shandong provincial finance and can use it for half a year without compensation.

Quantum Jinzhou (Tianjin) Non-Woven Co., Ltd. is also a manufacturer of meltblown fabrics, PP / PET two-component nonwovens and other products. At present, the company has two meltblown cloth production lines with a daily output of 4 tons.

In addition to large-capacity enterprises, there are also small-scale meltblown non-woven enterprises with a daily output of about 1 ton, such as Dalian Hualun Nonwoven Equipment Engineering Co., Ltd. and Zhejiang Jiarui Filtration Technology Co., Ltd.

Dalian Hualun Nonwoven Equipment Engineering Co., Ltd. is a company specializing in engineering general contracting, chemical fiber and non-woven engineering design, and equipment manufacturing. At present, the company has invested funds to transform the original two meltblown equipment production lines (production of air filter materials) into mask filter material production lines. Since its upgrade  it has supplied 3.07 million BFE99 medical mask filters per day.

Mr. Huang from Dalian Hualun Nonwoven Equipment Engineering Co., Ltd. told Interface News that the company’s meltblown cloth production is currently 1 ton/day and the ex-factory price is 70,000 yuan per ton.

On February 12, the price quoted by a small meltblown cloth manufacturer to the Interface journalist reached 80,000 yuan per ton.

On January 28, the client of the People ’s Daily quoted that according to local companies, the market price of melt-blown cloth for filter materials for masks rose from the original 18,000 yuan/ton to 29,000 yuan/ton. From this calculation, the market price of meltblown cloth has increased more than threefold recently.

Dailian Jualiun says that in the next seven days, it  will be able to expand production to 1.5 tons-2 tons/day; in the next two months, the output of meltblown cloth will be expanded to 3 tons/ day.

Zhejiang Jiarui Filtration Technology Co., Ltd. also told Interface News that the company’s current meltblown cloth output is 1 ton/day, which can only supply small customers and cannot meet the supply needs of large companies such as BYD.

Suppliers and Associations

ASHRAE Guidance on Coronavirus

In response to ongoing developments, ASHRAE has released proactive guidance to help address coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) concerns with respect to the operation and maintenance of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems. The ASHRAE COVID-19 Preparedness Resources webpage provides easily accessible resources from ASHRAE to building industry professionals.

“The recent escalation in the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 is alarming on a global scale,” said 2019-20 ASHRAE President Darryl K. Boyce, P.Eng. “While ASHRAE supports expanded research to fully understand how coronavirus is transmitted, we know that healthy buildings are a part of the solution. ASHRAE’s COVID-19 Preparedness Resources are available as guidance to building owners, operators and engineers on how to best protect occupants from exposure to the virus, in particular in relation to airborne particles that might be circulated by HVAC systems.”

Available on the webpage is ASHRAE’s recently approved position document on Airborne Infectious Diseases. The Society’s position is that facilities of all types should follow, as a minimum, the latest practical standards and guidelines.

Superior Felt and Filtration has Both Meltblown and Needle Punched Media for Masks

Superior Felt & Filtration manufactures and supplies a wide array of nonwoven synthetic fabrics for the manufacturing of safety & personal protection filters. It is among the top nonwoven synthetic filter media suppliers for medical and emergency response textiles, such as respirators and masks. It is one of the largest manufacturers of micron and sub-micron filter media for respirator and medical applications in the U.S.

The company offers non wovens that can be utilized in masks, air purifiers, medical equipment, personal safety apparel and cleanrooms that are highly efficient against 0.1 micron particles. The  electrostatically charged high alpha perm melt blown and needle punched products can be easily molded into masks, pleated and die cut to offer protection over 99.9% against 0.1 micron particles which are considered to be the most penetrating particle sizes (MPPS). The electrostatic media offers low air flow resistance for more breathable masks or devices that help reduce fatigue & improve comfort levels.

Technostat® can also be utilized with breathable laminates, activated carbon and other materials for combined dust and gas filtration. For these reasons, Technostat® is ideal for nonwoven synthetic filter media for respiratory applications. In addition to Technostat® filter media, the company also offers Technostat® Plus – a triboelectric media of needle-punched felt that offers 20% improvement in filtration efficiency over standard electrostatic filter media. This nonwoven synthetic fabric produces its triboelectric properties when 2 dissimilar fibers used during the manufacturing process create a charge that enhances filtration capabilities.

Superior Felt & Filtration also provides electrostatic filter media rolls (electrostatically-charged synthetic needle punch fibers) and melt blown fibers. These nonwoven synthetic fabrics aid in producing some of the highest levels of filtration for health care providers and emergency responders.

SWM supplies Melt Blown Media and Film for Surface Layer

 SWM International says it stands ready to supply converters and manufacturers of face masks with advanced nonwoven materials necessary to meet the global challenge presented by the coronavirus outbreak.

“SWM has a long history of supplying high-quality media integral to the construction and performance of face masks used in the dental and surgical sectors as well as the industrial sector,” said Bart Sistrunk, SWM’s Commercial Director – Filtration. “Our DelporeTM meltblown media is widely used in face masks because it provides excellent breathability without sacrificing Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) and its lightweight nature allows for comfortable wear.”

A leading producer of meltblown media, SWM also offers DelnetTM apertured film, a lightweight nonwoven that is extruded, oriented, and uniquely embossed for use as a flexible surface layer for medical facemasks or as a comfort barrier in finger bandages.

“SWM is prepared to prioritize production of Delpore meltblown media and Delnet apertured film for customers who need materials for face mask production,” said Sistrunk. “We are committed to continued support during the current world health emergency.”

AIR FILTRATION

Can Coronavirus Spread through HVAC System?

The CDC does not believe that COVID-19 is likely to be transmitted through duct work. However, several university studies show the opposite. Coronavirus could spread around buildings via air conditioning systems or even on a draft, new analysis has suggested after scientists found traces of the virus in a hospital air duct. The results from swab analysis of the rooms used by three coronavirus patients indicate that the disease may be more contagious than previously thought.

Even though the patient thought to be responsible was suffering only "mild" symptoms, scientists from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases in Singapore found evidence of the virus in the hospital's air exhaust. This "suggests that small, virus-laden droplets may be displaced by airflows and deposited on equipment such as vents", they said.

Applications

New Air Filtration Needs for Autopsies

In Iran bodies are piling up at morgues. This presents several challenges. Autopsies on decedents with known or suspected COVID-19 should be conducted in Airborne Infection Isolation Rooms (AIIRs). These rooms are at negative pressure to surrounding areas, have a minimum of six air changes per hour (ACH) for existing structures and twelve ACH for renovated or new structures, and have air exhausted directly outside or through a HEPA filter. Doors to the room should be kept closed except during entry and egress. If an AIIR is not available, ensure the room is at negative pressure with no air recirculation to adjacent spaces. A portable HEPA recirculation unit could be placed in the room to provide further reduction in aerosols. Local airflow control (i.e., laminar flow systems) can be used to direct aerosols away from personnel. If use of an AIIR or HEPA unit is not possible, the procedure should be performed in the most protective environment possible. Air should never be returned to the building interior, but should be exhausted outdoors, away from areas of human traffic or gathering spaces and away from other air intake systems.

Transmission through Cruise Ship Ductwork Diamond - Princess Ductwork Debated

Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director at the U.S. CDC, says there is no current evidence to suggest that the coronavirus spreads through air-handling systems. Eric van Dijk, employed at Dutch HVAC specialist Heinen & Hopman, agrees it is unlikely for viruses to spread through a ship’s HVAC system due to the way air travels through the system.

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The cruise ship Diamond Princess was quarantined in Japan. The ship had 3700 people on board, of which 620 people were eventually infected by the coronavirus. Some of the passengers expressed worries about the virus spreading through the ship’s HVAC (heating ventilation air-conditioning) system to which the CDC responded.

According to Van Dijk, whose company did not supply the HVAC system for this ship , ‘fresh air is supplied on a cruise ship by several air handling units. The ducts connected to the air handling units provide the public areas and cabins with fresh air. Within these units, air passes through multiple filters, at least EU4 pleated filters.’ EU4 filters belong to the category of coarse dust filters with an over ninety per cent arrestance.

‘Optionally, these units are equipped with a HEPA filter and/or UV light units to treat polluted air further,’ adds Van Dijk. These filters do not stop viruses from spreading, however.

Van Dijk explains: ‘The filtered air that enters a cabin is filtered again in a fan coil unit, but these filters are made to fight bacteria, not viruses. Viruses are so small, that you would need a very strong filter. When you need such a strong filter, the air handling units are possibly four times as big. This means that the energy consumption and emissions will be many times higher.’ Not something that is desirable for a cruise ship, as these ships already have a name for being polluters and are working hard to lower their environmental footprint.

The system on board the Diamond Princess was supplied by MCI Namirei. In a statement, Diamond Princess’ owner Princess Cruises said, ‘the HVAC filtration system on our ships is comparable to those used by land-based hotels, resorts and casinos.’ This probably means this system will also not be able to filter out viruses.

However, Van Dijk points out the chance of a virus spreading through the HVAC system is still very small. This has to do with the way the air travels. He has drawn the overview which shows that, although not impossible, it is unlikely for a virus to travel from cabin A to cabin B.

The opposite conclusion was reached by Qingyan Chen, Purdue’s James G. Dwyer Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He has researched the spread of air particles in passenger vehicles and how to track them. His team developed models in the past for showing how the H1N1-A flu and other pathogens travel through aircraft cabins.

When Chen co-led the Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Airline Cabin Environment Research, his lab made discoveries about the airborne nature of SARS that could inform understanding of the coronavirus.

Chen’s lab is currently developing a ventilation system that would prevent the spread of pathogens by allowing each person to breathe in only his or her own air.

He told the media  “It’s standard practice for the air conditioning systems of cruise ships to mix outside air with inside air to save energy. The problem is that these systems can’t filter out particles smaller than 5,000 nanometers. If the coronavirus is about the same size as SARS, which is 120 nanometers in diameter, then the air conditioning system would be carrying the virus to every cabin.

Cruise ships could minimize this problem by just using outside air and not recirculating it.”

Suppliers

Biosafe Air

The effectiveness of HEPA and Filtrete filters was addressed by Biosafe Air.  How effective can HEPA actually be? The chart below, adapted from an EPA report lists the MERV rating of filtration material corresponding to the typical contaminant that they address, along with the typical filter type found in the MERV rating group (from HEPA to “HEPA-like” filters).

Even though the MERV value is strictly performance based, you can still derive some value from the chart below, as it gives you an indicator of the limits of certain types (e.g. higher efficiency pleated filters vs. true HEPA filters). Generally, HEPA is considered the equivalent of a MERV 17.

Reputable air purifier companies that have filtration-based units should clearly state their MERV rating, or state plainly what the particle size and type of contaminant their product can actually address.

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 Biosafe Air uses the 3M products.

Camfil

Camfil supplies air filters and systems for many applications including the most severe. “There are more than 60 biosafety laboratories classified as Level 4 (highest risk) by an international commission. Camfil has already delivered containment solutions for many of them in China, France, Switzerland, Germany and the U.S.A.

Camfil has issued some guidance relative to coronavirus at https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/03/03/1993917/0/en/Camfil-USA-Update-Reduce-Risk-of-Infectious-Virus.html  This website also has links to CDC and ASHRAE guidance documents.

Livsdal

Livsdal  has intensified the development of a more affordable and smaller version of its premium air purifier. The new air purifier under the name Essential will have the same capacity of capturing molecular gases like formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide and ozone in the size of 0.5 nanometer particles, viruses like SARS-CoV-2 that is 10 nanometer. Viruses are in general in the size range from 10-400 nanometer that is equivalent to 0.01-0.4 micrometer. It will also capture allergens, smoke, dust, pollen, bacteria, odor, dander, mold to mites in the size all the way up to more than 10,000 nanometer. The Essential is critical equipment suitable for hospitals, health clinics, nursing homes and dental offices, as well as in homes of all people vulnerable to air pollution. It is designed to effectively capture pollutants in rooms up to 75 square meter. The height is 100 cm times 40 x 40 cm. Livsdal will start to accept pre-orders with delivery in autumn 2020.

The purifiers incorporate seven long lasting, high capacity and high quality filters.

  • Pre-filter-Catches regular dust and larger particles
  • HEPA 13 Particle filter-Captures dust, bacteria and viruses among many other particles. 99.996 % efficiency for particles of 0.3 μm and will capture particles down to 0.005 μm.
  • Carbon Molecule filters-Different activated Carbon Molecule filters capture toxic gas molecules as small as c. 0.0005 μm. They are designed to absorb odors, gases and car emissions including nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, formaldehyde plus a list of other compounds – all tested to ISO 10121.
  • Post filter-The final safeguard comes in the form of a metal granular-filter, located on the fan outlet to capture any carbon particles that are released.

Johnson Controls

A team from Johnson Controls went to Wuhan to meet the emergency needs of a people hard hit by the novel coronavirus outbreak. The Johnson Controls team was working hard to help Taikang Tongji (Wuhan) Hospital construct a makeshift hospital. 

It took just 45 minutes for the Johnson Controls team to make the key arrangements and plan for this mission, which was to provide full support for building the infrastructure of the makeshift hospital, including the communications system, the safety system and the elevator alarm system.

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Johnson Controls engineers testing the IT equipment and installing wireless access points

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Within twelve hours, the company's first batch of medical protective supplies such as protective clothing, goggles, and masks had arrived. At the same time, colleagues from all over China sent forth material goods and well wishes to support the team. 

On February 9 the Trion air filters were delivered.

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Pall

Viruses can typically range from 0.01 to 0.2 micron in size, although they may cluster or attach to larger particles. How effective are Pall HEPA filters at removing bacteria and viruses? An independent test laboratory has tested three Pall cabin air filter elements using two different bacteria; Brevundimonas diminuta and Bacillus subtilis and results show that the bacterial removal efficiency of the Pall cabin air filters is greater than 99.999%. Similarly, when challenged with the MS2 Coliphage virus, the virus removal efficiency of the Pall cabin air filters is also greater than 99.999%

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Pall Aerospace engineers teamed up with scientists from Pall Medical group to develop and validate the microbial removal efficiency of aircraft cabin air filters, following standard practices used in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.

Why cabin air filters do not need an anti-microbial treatment? In free air, most microbes die within a few minutes. Once captured by the filter media, the survival rate of microorganisms in the aircraft environment is very low. Most bacteria require high humidity and a source of nutrition to survive. The conditions typically found in the aircraft recirculation system are 10-15% relative humidity and lack of a source of nutrition. Is there a danger to maintenance personnel by removing used cabin air filters?

There is no more risk involved in replacing a cabin air filter than carrying out general maintenance on any aircraft part that has been in service for a number of years. Maintenance staff should wear the same personal protective equipment as for other aircraft maintenance tasks which require protection against dust, and per the local regulations. The used HEPA filter should be placed and sealed in a plastic bag. A specific biohazard bag is not required for disposal of the HEPA filter in most jurisdictions.

Peco Filter

PECO filter effectiveness was evaluated by Consumer Reports.  Their analysis follows:

“Like so many brands that trend on social media, the Molekule Air is available only through the manufacturer’s website—for a whopping $800. It’s the sort of niche product that Consumers Reports wouldn’t necessarily test, but given the buzz it’s generated, “we felt a responsibility to weigh in with test data”.

“And because the Molekule manufacturer claims to have revolutionized air cleaning with its proprietary PECO technology, we dug a little deeper. Here’s the story of our reporting and our lab tests.

This acronym is short for photoelectrochemical oxidation. It isn’t new technology, per se, but rather a boosted version of PCO (photocatalytic oxidation), which has been used for decades to clean contaminated air and water. 

A typical mesh filter—HEPA, for instance—captures only airborne particles. PECO and PCO, however, take it one step further and also target gases. It does this by coating filters in a catalyst (PCO usually uses titanium dioxide) that reacts with UV light to oxidize gaseous pollutants and breaks them down into harmless molecules.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, PCO air cleaners can break down many types of gaseous pollutants, but not many typically found in indoor air. The process can also react with some pollutants to generate other dangerous byproducts, such as ozone, formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide.

Because of these factors, the EPA reports that to effectively and efficiently eliminate common gases and microbes found in homes in a safe manner, PCO technology needs to improve. Molekule says it has done just that.

“PECO was inefficient in destroying pollutants, so we fine-tuned all the parameters,” says Jaya Rao, Molekule’s COO and co-founder. “PECO innovations happened on many levels: the chemical coating, the filter, as well as the UV lighting.” Working together, she says, these innovations make PECO work faster and more efficiently than PCO, allowing it to destroy gases, bacteria, viruses, and mold spores—without producing any harmful byproducts. Rao declined to go into detail about what the company uses for the catalyst.

CR tests for particle reduction and not for gas or microbe removal. James Dickerson, CR’s chief scientific officer, was asked whether Molekule’s claims have any merit.

“Theoretically, PECO could work to eliminate microscopic airborne molecules,” Dickerson says. “But our tests show that the Molekule Air is not proficient at catching larger airborne particles, which ultimately means it’s not getting enough air passing through the system.”

We put the Molekule Air through our standard battery of air purifier tests, and it almost flunked: We put it into a sealed chamber and injected particles as small as 0.1 micron and up to 1 micron into the room—a range that includes dust mite allergens, cat allergens, smog, smoke, and atmospheric dust. (For reference, human hair has a diameter of 100 microns). A particle counter measured the change in air-particle concentration as the machine ran for 15 minutes. As usual, we tested at the highest speed and again at a lower speed.

The Molekule Air gets a Fair rating for smoke and dust removal at high speed and a Poor—the lowest score possible—at low speed. It is the third-lowest-scoring air purifier of the 48 we tested. The manufacturer says the Molekule Air is sized for rooms up to 600 square feet, but its performance in our tests ranks it among compact models that are designed for small rooms. Based on our lab’s calculated rate at which it can process the air, the Molekule Air wouldn’t be able to handle any room larger than 100 square feet.

We shared our methodology and findings with Rao, and she took issue with our testing.

“It’s a very limited assessment of Molekule because instantaneous removal of particles is not the full picture of what air purification looks like,” Rao says. “And while we may be destroying at a slower rate, we’re still doing something much more complicated, which is truly purifying the air at the nanoscale level and making it safer.”

But if the Molekule Air isn’t pulling enough air into the machine in the first place, it may struggle to clean the air at any scale. “Even if the PECO filter works and it purifies the air of microscopic particles, it’s still not effectively catching the large particles, which are also irritants,” Dickerson says.

In addition to the Molekule Air’s poor performance in our testing for particle reduction, there’s the price to consider. The Molekule Air costs $800, with an annual cost of $130 for filter replacements, plus an additional $50 a year for energy use, based on our calculations. (The model is not Energy Star certified; unlike the majority of air purifiers we test.)

It’s also not very quiet, garnering a Fair score for noise on the high-speed setting and a Good score on the low-speed setting. Our verdict? Pass on the Molekule Air and opt for one of CR’s recommended air purifiers. Consumers Report say there  are three models, that perform well in  particle removal tests and cost hundreds less. air purifier buying guide.

Terra Universal

Terra Universal has a range of portable cleanrooms, air showers and  U.V. Sanitizing modules as shown below.

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Vanguard Healthcare Solutions

A portable operating theatre has been set up in the car park of one of Australia's biggest hospitals.

Surgeons at Melbourne's The Alfred Hospital have been performing life-saving procedures in the 'Laminar Flow Operating Theatre' after a storm wreaked havoc on one of their primary theatres.

Vanguard mobile operating theatres can offer a significant increase in capacity during times of refurbishment or increased clinical need. A Vanguard theatre gives hospitals a reliable, safe answer to capacity pressures across a range of specialties and procedure types. Mobile laminar flow operating theatres have been widely used across the NHS for procedures including hip replacements, knee replacements and joint revisions. Vanguard laminar flow theatre facilities offer HEPA-filtered environmental air that conforms to Grade A EUGMP, with up to 600 air changes per hour passing over the patient, and 25 fresh air changes.

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The World Health Organization says that managing an epidemic calls for partnerships with service providers who can help healthcare providers such as hospitals add capacity – preferably partnerships that have been established in advance. This means they can call on them more speedily should disaster strike, and everyone knows what’s expected of them.

In the disaster movies, Vanguard sees public spaces being used as temporary healthcare settings when epidemics hit – sports halls, community centres and the like – but this is not ideal for patients, their families, or the staff treating them.

So, what else would work? Clearly, building extra hospital or additional clinical spaces from bricks and mortar isn’t an option – so what can be done? Organizations such as Vanguard Healthcare Solutions work alongside healthcare organizations to create extra capacity which is temporary but much more robust and absolutely clinically sound. The environments are not temporary, but they can be temporarily used.

In an epidemic, units can be quickly deployed to support areas which are struggling to meet the increased demand, or where, if space has been commandeered in one hospital to create a ‘hub’ for the treatment and containment of an epidemic, they can be used to create a more long-term ‘back-up’ in other locations to make up the shortfall – for example for dialysis patients.

Patients in either instance can be decanted to the mobile solution – whether that is a clinic, a ward or an operating theatre. Or if additional or faster turnaround of sterile equipment is required to meet the increased demand, a mobile central sterilization unit can help to bridge the gap.

The mobile units create spaces which can be, if necessary, completely separate from the hospital creating an infection control ‘oasis’, or can be used for testing, triage or supporting the ‘walking wounded’ in clinics and wards. They can be used as additional ward space or even, if needed, a welfare area for staff who may have to stay on site for an extended period without going home. They can also be used for additional and self-contained morgue space, minimizing the cross-contamination risk.

Resources

ASHRAE Provides Guidance

In response to ongoing developments, ASHRAE has released proactive guidance to help address coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) concerns with respect to the operation and maintenance of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems.

The ASHRAE COVID-19 Preparedness Resources webpageprovides easily accessible resources from ASHRAE to building industry professionals.

“The recent escalation in the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 is alarming on a global scale,” said 2019-20 ASHRAE President Darryl K. Boyce, P.Eng. “While ASHRAE supports expanded research to fully understand how coronavirus is transmitted, we know that healthy buildings are a part of the solution. ASHRAE’s COVID-19 Preparedness Resources are available as guidance to building owners, operators and engineers on how to best protect occupants from exposure to the virus, in particular in relation to airborne particles that might be circulated by HVAC systems.”

Available on the webpage is ASHRAE’s recently approved position document on Airborne Infectious Diseases. The Society’s position is that facilities of all types should follow, as a minimum, the latest practical standards and guidelines.

 

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                     March 2020

Webinar on Coronavirus Mask Reuse

McIlvaine will hold a webinar on April 2 to discuss and debate the issues relative to N95 mask reuse. Participation will be limited to 25 people, but the session will be recorded, and all registrants will receive the recording.  Selection will be based on a first come first served basis. The session will take place at 10:AM CDT on Thursday April 2, 2020.  To register         

https://home.mcilvainecompany.com/index.php?option=com_rsform&view=rsform&formId=84

McIlvaine is holding one or more webinars per week on the crisis. Last week, in an 80-minute discussion, mitigation suppliers considered initiatives which would allow business to function while workers were kept safe. This discussion can be viewed at  https://youtu.be/MttSotStbyE

Wearing of appropriately sterilized and functional N95 masks is a matter of life and death. Unfortunately, the shortage is already responsible for many deaths including in wealthy countries such as the U.S. In fact, the wealthiest countries with the cleanest air are at a disadvantage compared to countries such as China where masks are routinely worn due to pollution levels.

Whereas China has ramped up medical mask production from 20 million to 200 million per day N95 mask production has only increased from 200,000 to 1.8 million per day.  Worldwide production is less than 3 million.  There is a need to protect hundreds of millions of people. It is impossible to ramp up production to meet demand if each mask is only worn for one risky encounter.  On the other hand, if masks could be safely reused 50 times and world production ramped up to 6 million per day there would be sufficient numbers for 300 million people.

The need is urgent in Spain, Italy, the U.S. and many other countries. An immediate solution is necessary.  Fortunately, that solution is now available and commercial. It is simply a matter of employing it now and improving it over time.

Meeting the need

Duke University is successfully employing hydrogen peroxide vaporization to disinfect 500 masks in a 4-hour period.  They are pursuing methods to increase capacity and efficiency.  A 24-hour operation would disinfect 3000 per day.  If the need is to protect an additional 5 million health care workers in critical environments then we need 1700-5100 of such facilities depending on the number of uses per day. Many workers need three sanitized masks per day.

There are many disinfection systems employed in cleanrooms around the world. The production of an additional 1700 could be done quickly and in time to meet some of the urgent needs. It is conceivable that certain cleanroom disinfection operations could be temporarily repurposed to provide sterilization.  In fact, the Duke Hospitals are using a decontamination system in their research facility.

Choosing the best technology

The University of Nebraska Medical Center recently published their procedure for the disinfection of N95 masks using ClorDiSys’ Torch UV Disinfection System. So, there are at least two approaches which are now disinfecting masks cost effectively.

In a paper published in the journal Annals of Occupational Hygiene in 2009, researchers compared and contrasted different methods for sterilizing N95 masks, many of which destroyed the virus but were not good ideas in terms of damage to the masks or practicality of large scale use:

  • Heat in an oven for 30 minutes at 58 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius)
  • Use ultraviolet light for 30 minutes
  • Soak the mask in 75% ethyl alcohol, then let it dry
  • Clean the mask with liquid or vapor hydrogen peroxide
  • Clean the mask with bleach
  • Steam the mask with hot vapor from boiling water
  • Microwave the mask
  • Use extreme heat in an oven or autoclave
  • Soak in soap and water

There are many cost-effective technologies being used in biopharmaceutical cleanrooms. Two experts with decades of experience in biopharmaceutical decontamination will be joining the discussion on Thursday.

Mask design

If masks are going to be reusable, then the mask and media suppliers have the opportunity to redesign their products to maximize the performance under these new conditions.  There are two main considerations:

  • Create a mask which can be sterilized the maximum number of times without deterioration
  • Create a mask with better performance than is justified for a disposable product

Let’s assume that a mask which is more comfortable with less resistance and higher efficiency can be developed.  If it could be used 100 times it could sell for $75 and still be no more costly than a 75-cent disposable version.  The media area is important due to resistance but also cost.  A 50% increase in media could easily be justified in a reusable mask but not in a disposable one.

There are opportunities for immediate development and supply of masks using more efficient media. Using nanofibers or membranes the efficiency of the N95 can be upgraded to N100 and at the same time making the mask more comfortable with less resistance. Some reusable masks are now in production which are washable. Because they do not rely on electrostatic attraction, they can remain efficient for 20 washings. There are many other innovations which will be made possible by making masks reusable. They will be explored in this and future sessions.

The webinar is free to everyone. The program for suppliers is Coronavirus Market Intelligence

Click here for more information

If you have questions or would like to present data during the webinar contact Bob McIlvaine at 847 226 2391 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Coronavirus Market Alert

April 7, 2020

How Effective is the Automobile Cabin Air Filter?

The author asks us to, consider that the coronavirus particulate measures between .06 and .14 microns in diameter. Most HEPA filters in today’s modern vehicles can trap germs down to 0.3 microns, which a coronavirus particulate will be able to float right through. In this case, the filter will do little to keep the coronavirus from entering the cabin of your vehicle.

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Note that this is counter to other articles such as by Pall which talk about the Brownian movement and capture of small particles in HEPA filters.

The article also observes the limited number of air changes per hour. It suggests that an auxiliary air filtration system may be helpful.

JVC is a company known more for its audio systems and Bluetooth speakers. They introduced an air filtration system at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Small enough to fit in a typical car cupholder and looking similar to a tall version of Amazon’s Echo device, according to JVC, it can turn your vehicle’s cabin air twice every hour. Whether it is effective with germs from the COVID-19 outbreak remains to be seen.

Future tech is alive and under development at Yanfeng Global Automotive Interiors. A supplier to automakers around the world, they have developed a “wellness pod” that cleans the air within a vehicle while the car, truck or SUV is not occupied. The device uses UV-C technology, which is effective but has been found to possibly cause cancer, which is why the vehicle must not be occupied while the cleaning process is occurring.

https://www.kbb.com/articles/car-news/will-my-cars-filter-system-help-reduce-the-spread-of-coronavirus/


Large-Volume Mobile HEPA Air Filtration System

Deploying a (temporary) HEPA air filtration system in large public places to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus makes sense. For government facilities, supermarkets, drug stores, airport check-in areas and other places that need to stay open, BlueSky offers temporary HEPA air filtration systems designed to handle up to 25,000 SCFM of contaminated air per machine.

BlueSky Global is currently the only company in the world that manufactures large mobile HEPA air filtration systems that are ideal for temporary use in enclosed settings such as emergency isolation, temporary hospitals and quarantine facilities.

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The system can be installed in grocery stores and fast food restaurants.

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HEPA filtered air enters near the top of the space and exits through the bottom.

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https://www.bluesky-global.com/hepa-air-filtration-system/


Air Filtration near a Coronavirus Patient can Prevent Infection and Even Reinfection

Blake Elias and Yaneer Bar-Yam speculate that using air filtering near a coronavirus patient may reduce the viral load in the environment sufficiently to decrease the probability of health care worker infection through flaws in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Further, they speculate that a significant mode of disease progression occurs through lung tissue re-infection through air circulation in the environment of the patient. The natural load of disease transmission from one individual to another through the air could serve as a mechanism of self-reinfection, expanding the infection across multiple regions of lung tissue. Motivated by this speculation, it may be possible that reduction of the viral load in the environment would lead to substantial decrease of the severity of individual disease. Moreover, it may be possible to enhance this effect through breathing exercises that exhale contaminated air in the lung, decreasing further the viral load inside the lung and its ability to cross contaminate other parts of lung tissue. Finally, it may also be possible to use tubes inserted in the mouth or lung to suction contaminated air, to decrease the severity of disease. These speculations deserve attention because of the dramatic risks that we face. Rapid action on evaluating the validity of these ideas seems vital.

Every patient with a known or suspected infection, whether in a hospital room or in self-quarantine, could have a portable air filter which they keep near or on their person at all times. They may leave it by their bedside while resting and may carry it with them as they move around their room. The Center for Disease Control is recommending that all persons under investigation for COVID-19 be placed in an Airborne Infection Isolation Room (AIIR) — designated rooms in a hospital, connected to an HVAC system in such a way as to have negative air pressure. A critical question (which we seek the community’s help answering): How many AIIRs are there in the United States? In the world? Should there become a shortage of AIIRs relative to the number of patients who need them, a cleanroom-grade air filtration system can be used to turn any room into a negative pressure isolation room.

While hospital HVAC systems contain HEPA filtration, we propose that localized filtering in high-traffic spaces may further decrease the number of viral particles present. A low-cost air purifier containing a HEPA filter can cost on the order of $100 and circulate the air in a 155 square foot room five times per hour (i.e. once every 12 minutes, or 120 times per day), and could be deployed widely in hospital environments. Hospitals may look into adding HEPA filters to more places in their HVAC systems, and for any existing HEPA filters, test their current efficiency and replace if needed. It may be worth taking any measures possible to increase airflow speed in existing HVAC systems, and to avoid recirculating air between rooms.

https://necsi.edu/could-air-filtration-reduce-covid19-severity-and-spread


Filtration Group providing Many Products to Mitigate Coronavirus

In the McIlvaine webinar last week  a slide presentation by Jeff Mathers of Purafil covering a unique filter media was displayed.

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More details were covered in our April 4 Daily Coronavirus Alert.

We have been in discussions with Michael Bruce of the Filtration Group relative to his analysis of the total cost of ownership of HVAC filters and how that can be expanded to take into account  coronavirus removal.


Porvair Filtration Group  Supplying Multiple Products to Mitigate Virus

In response to Government calls for businesses to support in the production and supply of ventilators and ventilator components,  Porvair  has rapidly adapted some of its manufacturing processes in order to join forces in the fight against Covid-19.

Ventilator and Breathing Apparatus

  • The Segensworth Division has been selected to support Project Oyster (the British Consortium of carmakers, Formula One teams, and airplane manufacturers) who has been urged to build 10,000 ventilators. Porvair will be supplying flat discs to be used as air filters, to protect against dust ingestion.
  • The Wrexham Division is manufacturing filter components for several of the organizations who are now building breathing apparatus for hospitals.
  • The Caribou Division is manufacturing and supplying critical porous metal parts for use within ventilators, clinical analysers and respirators.

Medical Testing

  • The Sciences Division has increased production of millions of pipette tips to be used in the United States for their Covid-19 testing kits, as well as supplying consumables for dozens of US testing laboratories.
  • Porvair  have supplied bulk filtration media to one of their German distributors to be manufactured into filters for the German Covid-19 testing programme.
  • The Wrexham Division is undertaking a rapid development project to use existing DNA extraction products and use the technology to design and manufacture RNA extraction kits.

Pharmaceutical Production

  • Porvair is  supplying chromatography bed supports and pharmaceutical grade water to pharmaceutical customers whose production is increasing.
  • Sister company Seal Analytical is supplying water quality testing kits and general industrial filters to pharmaceutical and chemical reagent customers for their requirements.


3M Working on Decontamination Methods

3M is working to quickly evaluate decontamination methods on 3M respirator fit and filtration performance, such as Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide, UV, Low Temperature Moist Heat, amongst others, as reflected in the CDC guidance on Crisis Standards of Care Decontamination Recommendations. Other methods of decontamination are being discussed in public forums, including liquid chemical decontamination, ozone, and time-based methods but 3M is not prioritizing investigation of these methods at this time. 3M remains committed to providing data to the health care community as soon as possible.

Considering the many variables involved in the process, decontamination of FFRs in the US should follow all requirements of the current EUA issued for each specific decontamination method.

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https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/1824869O/decontamination-methods-for-3m-n95-respirators-technical-bulletin.pdf