eco3 proven against Covid-19
An air purifier made by Hispacold has been proven almost totally effective against Covid-19 in ground-breaking tests at a Spanish government facility
Tests proving that Hispacold’s eco3 air purifier is 99.7% effective in removing the coronavirus from the air, have been
carried out by the Biological Defence Area at the CBN Defence Systems Department of the National Institute of
Aerospace Technology (INTA) – a subdivision of the Spanish Defence Ministry.
Earlier in the pandemic, Hispacold released research to show that the throughput of fresh air in a coach did, itself, reduce transmission. Because the air flow is not along the coach but from top to bottom, passengers are, in effect, in a ‘bubble’ of air not shared with other passengers.
Now, the company’s eco3 air purifier – which has already been fitted to coaches in the UK – has been trialled in laboratory conditions, and proven to remove practically any Covid-19 which may be in circulation.
Trials just completed
This October, the eco3 air purifier was rigorously tested under strict safety conditions and according to stringent testing
criteria, at La Marañosa Campus, INTA’s technology centre, where the headquarters of the Subdirectorate General, Land
Systems, is based.
The trials aimed to evaluate the extent of the reduction of viral load in an aerosol of the bacterial virus MS2 when it is
treated using Cold Plasma – a treatment involving ionisation.
The trials were carried out inside a 15-metre long coach equipped with eco-3 air purifiers.
Under current legislation regarding “the protection of workers from risks related to exposure to biological agents in the
workplace”, the facility where such tests are carried out must be biosafety-level-equipped. SARS-Cov-2 is categorised as
a Biosafety level (BSL) 3 risk (with BSL4 the highest risk category) and any tests involving this virus must therefore be
carried out using biosafety cabinets, which use carefully controlled airflow or sealed enclosures to prevent infection.
Such an environment was impossible to replicate safely inside a vehicle using the SARS-CoV-2 so the MS2 virus was
chosen instead as it is ten times more resistant than SARS-CoV-2 and can only be inactivated with a 64mJ/cm² dose
compared to the 6,7 mJ/cm2 dose needed to inactivate the Covid-19 virus. This means the effect of the eco3 air purifier
on SARS-CoV-2 would be far more powerful than its effect on the MS2 virus.
The independent trials concluded that the air treatment systems – the eco3 air purifiers – installed in the coach’s HVAC systems
– were effective in reducing the MS2 viral load by 99.7% under the test conditions.
How does eco3 work?
When HVAC systems are in operation, the eco3 air purifier emits ions into the air, creating an environment free of
viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, microorganisms, bacteria, germs, allergens and dust particles.
In addition, during the ion-generation process, ozone is produced in very low concentration (<0.05 ppm), which is
harmless to passengers. This eliminates unpleasant odours and increases the oxygen concentration in the passenger
compartment, reducing feelings of tiredness among passengers and drivers.
The eco3 air purifier is sited inside the return air equipment where the cleaning and disinfection of the interior air
takes place and where the HVAC equipment’s own vents distribute the treated air back into the vehicle interior.
Indoor air renewal
Constant interior air renewal is also key in protecting the health of passengers and drivers. Hispacold HAVC systems
are designed to work with a mix of interior and replacement exterior air, which before being heat treated and
introduced into the passenger cabin, passes through a filtering section, where most potentially harmful particles are
removed, improving interior air quality.
Bioaerosols – airborne particles of biological origin or that are biologically active – can affect living beings through
infections, allergies, pollution and irritation are a main cause of the transmission of infection. Therefore, indoor air
quality, which is achieved through ventilation and filtration, is crucial in preventing the transmission of pathogens
Indoor air quality is affected by occupancy levels. Minimum fresh air ventilation requirements are about 2.5 to 4 l/s
per person, so at least 10 to 16 complete air supply renewals inside the vehicle must be guaranteed every hour.
Therefore, complete air renewal must take place inside the vehicle every 4 to 6 minutes.
Hispacold’s HVAC systems guarantee an outside air flow of between 800 and 1000 m3/h at all times with interior air
being renewed every 3 or 4 minutes, exceeding regulation requirements of the regulations, as long as 0% to 100%
of external air is being renewed by the HVAC system.