Published: 14th May 2020
IIT Roorkee has developed a scanner-like UV sterilisation system for your phones, gadgets to be COVID-free
A four-member team from the Chemical engineering department built the prototype that can be used in public places and to ensure that your phones are germ-free
We are all washing our hands and using sanitisers to avoid contracting COVID-19. But what about sanitising items like mobile phones, wallets and keys which we keep touching? IIT Roorkee has found a solution to this problem. The Chemical Engineering department has developed a prototype of a sterilisation system for public places like offices, shopping malls, airports and so on that works a lot like airport scanners.
Modelled much like the scanning machines at airport security, the machine uses Ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Common use products can be placed at one one of the machine and after sterilisation, the accessory will be released from the other end, says Dr Vimal Chandra Srivastava, Department of Chemical Engineering. "This is the first time a system like this has been developed. The sterilisers available in the market can process only two to three items in batches at any given point of time. In this system, one can keep placing items continuously at one end and a conveyor will carry them inside the machine, sterilize them and release from the other end," says Dr Srivastava.
Research students Navneet Kumar, Rohit Chauhan, and Dr Swati Verma we part of the team that was led by Dr Srivastava. "The Haridwar Municipal Corporation approached us with the problem of sterilising papers in their office. They certainly couldn't use alcohol-based sanitisers for that purpose," says Dr Srivastava, "Thus, we began developing this UV-based system." The team has considered the possibility of UV damage to people using the system and has taken precautions to ensure that a user isn't harmed, explains Dr Srivastava.
The system has been given to the Haridwar Municipal Corporation for their use on a pilot basis. The team is in the process of patenting the prototype. Discussions are on with market leaders about the feasibility of mass production. "There might be several alterations to the design, frequency of items placed in it before it is mass-produced," says Dr Srivastava. However, Dr Srivastava doesn't recommend the usage of this prototype at hospitals though. "We are still developing the system for hospital use. The chances of contamination is much higher there," he adds.