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Thai scientists unveil saltwater Covid-19 disinfectant device

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Scientists at Prince of Songkla University (PSU) have unveiled a breakthrough in the battle to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and other diseases.

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A PSU Faculty of Science research team has developed a device that uses simple technology to produce hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite to disinfect any surface.

The device uses only water and salt, making it a convenient and almost free way of producing a constant supply of disinfectant.

PSU has handed the research knowledge to government agencies and schools in nine southern provinces – Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Trang, Satun, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.

The device is designed to replace regular disinfectants, including relatively expensive alcohol-based cleansers.

Dr Warakorn Limbut, a PSU chemical scientist, said the new disinfectant device uses electrodes immersed in a container of salt and water (sodium chloride solution). When an electric current is passed through the solution, the positive electrode produces hypochlorous acid with a pH level 4.0 to 6.5 – a weak acid that is highly effective in destroying bacteria and viruses. Meanwhile the negative electrode produces sodium hydroxide with a pH of 8-14 – the main ingredient of bleach.

Warakorn hailed the commitment of Faculty of Science students, who worked for one year to develop the device. He said knowledge from the project will now be used for commercial applications to help society.

“In future, we will work with businesses to develop more efficient use of hypochlorous acids and hypochlorites in a larger machine.”

The research was part of PSU’s efforts to prevent the spread of disease and protect the health of Thai people, he added.

Published : February 04, 2021

By : The Nation