The fight against the effects of Covid-19 has so many fronts that science and industry can start unsuspected alliances to face the pandemic. From the veteran lighting company SETGA, based for 30 years in Pontevedra, they soon saw the opportunity to try to contribute their technical knowledge to combat the effects of the Coronavirus. They are currently in full investigation of the use of ultraviolet light to disinfect Personal Protection Equipment, masks and other objects that are used by health workers in the care of patients who contract the disease.
The STERIONICS project is one of the eight that have been selected by the Galician Innovation Agency GAIN of the Xunta de Galicia among the innovative solutions that Galician companies have proposed to fight this pandemic. In total, 750,000 euros will be invested to support these initiatives. The selected proposals have been those that have obtained the best score in aspects such as technical feasibility and their possibilities of ending up reaching the market.
Vicente Alonso, SETGA engineer who coordinates the project, explains that the idea of starting it came up shortly after the pandemic broke out with the intention that the company could apply its know-how in technical lighting to a sector that even the moment was alien to them as the toilet. “We have evolved from traditional lighting to LED technology and we saw the possibility of applying this knowledge to the disinfection of sanitary equipment,” says Alonso.
The investigations, in which the Photonics research group of the University of Santiago collaborates, consist for the moment in analyzing the use of type C ultraviolet light, which has a biocidal capacity, to be able to disinfect objects used by toilets during their Covid-19 patient care. According to Alonso, prototypes of cabins in which these objects could be disinfected have already begun to be designed, although there is still a way to investigate what should be the amount of ultraviolet light that must be applied to objects to strip them of that viral load.