DESTRUCTION OF AIR-BORNE PATHOGENIC BACTERIA
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The objective of this research project is to establish the technical and economic feasibility of a novel photocatalytic technology to inactivate air-borne Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), using representative surrogate bacterial spores, B. cereus. The technology is to be incorporated into circulating air ducts of buildings, providing protection against introduction of anthrax bacteria into central air systems by a terrorist act. There is also a need for a technology which can inactivate a broad range of such pathogens, since bioengineering could lead to modified anthrax spores. Such a broad acting technology could also find immediate applicability in curing "sick building" syndrome, by destroying other microorganisms and organic vapors in indoor air.
KSE, Inc. has already developed a new class of photocatalysts, orders of magnitude more active for organic compound oxidation than the traditional titania. This new class of photocatalysts will be adapted for use in anthrax spore destruction, in cooperation with the University of Massachusetts, Department of Microbiology. The program will utilize photocatalyst composition studies to tailor a superior photocatalyst for this application, reactor studies of the bactericidal efficacy of the new photocatalysts, and a competitive cost analysis of the technology relative to other alternatives for maintenance of indoor air quality.
The commercial applications will provide an air purification technology with broad bactericidal activity, particularly useful for anthrax spores, bioengineered anthrax, and other pathogens, as well as common microorganisms contributing to a "sick building." It will thus provide a central defense strategy against the threat of introduction of lethal anthrax spores into central air systems, while also providing immediate commercial benefit through improvements of indoor air quality of commercial buildings by removing organic compounds and common microorganisms.
Small Business Information at Submission:
KSE, INC. BOX 368 AMHERST, MA 01004
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