Disinfection of ambulances

RESEARCH PROJECT »SAFECAR«

Man in white coat disinfects the inside of an ambulance.

Plasma technology and UV systems for fast disinfection

In order to effectively contain the transmission and spread of infectious diseases, safe and rapid disinfection of ambulances is essemntial. The Covid 19 pandemic confirmes the importance of reliable inactivation of viruses and bacteria, especially in the healthcare sector. Contaminated ambulances must be available for further operations quickly and with a high degree of safety after the transport of an ill person.

With the help of plasma technology and UV systems it could be possible in the future to disinfect ambulances fully in afew minutes without the need for chemical disinfectants. In collaboration with Fraunhofer IBP, Fraunhofer IVV is investigating the spread of viruses in the interior of an ambulance as well as the effectiveness of physically based procedures for the safe disinfection.

Measurement of virus spread and disinfection performance

At the Fraunhofer IBP, the spatial distribution of viruses in vehicle interiors is determined on the basis of tracer gas measurements and online detection technologies to prove the distribution dynamics of viruses. Main focus of the work at  Fraunhofer IVV is the evaluation of the disinfection performance of plasma-modified air to inactivate viruses and bacterial spores on different surfaces or objects. In addition, the effectiveness of ionization sources and UV emitters in air purification systems to inactivate airborne pathogens is being evaluated. Based on the findings, the requirements for process technical implementation and concepts for isolated areas and the rapid disinfection of ambulance interiors can be determined.

Gas plasmas have long been a research topic at Fraunhofer IVV

The Fraunhofer IVV has been working for several years on the application of gas plasmas and UV systems for sterilization and disinfection of surfaces in the packaging and food industry. These are non-thermal methods that can be used as an alternative to conventional chemical methods. In the »SafeCar« project the use of mobile plasma technology and UV systems for disinfecting surfaces and the air in ambulances is now being investigated.

Project term: 2020 to 2021
Projct management/ project funding: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Project partners: Fraunhofer IVV, Fraunhofer IBP