A new technology created in Northern Ireland hopes to transform how we live and work during the current pandemic and beyond.
The Ilimex UV-C Air Steriliser, which completed a second phase of testing at Ulster University this month, has been proven to kill viruses and bacteria, as well as improving air quality in the environment in which it is installed.
Air sterilisation has more recently become a major concern following studies that suggest it is now considered the dominant method of transmission for Covid-19.
No other product on the market is dealing with this transmission method as efficiently or as effectively as the Ilimex air sterilisation unit.
By using a combination of sterilisation technologies to continuously eliminate 99.9999 per cent of airborne pathogens on the first pass through the unit, the device also removes dangerous pollutants from the environment in which it is situated, including volatile organic compounds, formaldehydes, benzene, nitrogen dioxide, mold spores, smoke and particulate matter, and much more.
It does this by employing wide band extra long-life UV sources, including high efficiency light-emitting diodes, to reduce operating cost, titanium dioxide photocatalytic filtration, silver-ion doped HEPA 13 filtering to PM1 (antibacterial filter) and activated carbon.
The Ilimex UV-C Air Steriliser is one of the first of its kind to safely transform and cleanse the air quality in any number of spaces and could be a revolutionary tool for businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond, as recent studies show that airborne transmission is now considered the dominant transmission method.
The creators of the sterilising technology are engaging with the NI Executive to support its upcoming launch as a tool to help reignite the economy and everyday life during the pandemic.
With £1m of funding secured to cover start-up costs, research, work to date to include scale up and manufacturing provision and plans for expansion, Ilimex will officially launch the product in the United Kingdom and Ireland this month.
The company has ambitious plans to roll out the product globally, with distribution as far as Australia already in place.
Invest Northern Ireland has offered just over £75,000 of support to assist Ilimex in the development of the technology, which is also supported by the McHenry Group in Ballycastle.
Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation, Research & Development, said: “Ilimex is a new company with global ambitions. It identified a market need for robust air quality control systems and quickly recognised that to get its idea to market, investment in R&D was key.
“We provided the company with technical advice and support during the initial development of the air sterilisation unit and since then it has used our innovation vouchers to undertake detailed efficacy testing with Ulster University.
“We are also supporting it to create six new jobs and our marketing assistance is helping it to develop its brand.
“All of this support combined has assisted Ilimex to bring its idea from concept through to the production of a now market-ready system.”
Patrick Dunlop, Senior Lecturer at the School of Engineering, Ulster University, said: “My team and colleagues within the School of Biomedical Sciences, including Dr Nigel Ternan and Dr Bill Snelling, have looked at the effectiveness of the technology and refined the product in collaboration with Ilimex.
“We’ve also carried out extensive testing and proven that it removes a high number of viruses.
“We’ve been impressed with how the Ilimex team have responded to the need for advanced air treatment technology.”
Ilimex Limited CEO Gerry Corrigan added: “Air can be infectious for a long time and the technology used by the Ilimex UV-C Air Steriliser ensures cleaning occurs on first pass.
“Our research shows that as a result of using this technology no viable viruses could be detected.
“It is 100 per cent effective and with such results we believe we are in a position to transform how we live and work during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
n Prices start at £2,495 including VAT.