Anthrax is nasty stuff. An environmental engineer at WUSTL uses smart catalysts in his device that can detect the airborne presence of anthrax and other bioweapons and disable it.
An environmental engineer at Washington University in St. Louis with his doctoral student has patented a device for trapping and deactivating microbial particles. The work is promising in the war on terrorism for deactivating airborne bioagents and bioweapons such as the smallpox virus, anthrax and ricin, and also in routine indoor air ventilation applications such as in buildings and aircraft cabins.
Pratim Biswas, Ph.D.,Stifel & Quinette Jens Professor of Environmental Engineering Sciences and director of Environmental Engineering Sciences at Washington University, combines an electrical field with soft X-rays and smart catalysts to capture and destroy bioagents such as the smallpox virus.
"When the aerosol particles come into the device they are charged and trapped in an electrical field," Biswas explained. "Any organic material is oxidized, so it completely deactivates the organism."
Tony Fitzpatrick | WUSTL
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