Decontamination research to improve sanitation and PPE

Friday, May 08, 2020

Carboxylic acids as sanitizers

A Sandia Labs project has showed carboxylic acids can be combined with a surfactant to create a disinfectant that neutralizes a surrogate for SARS-CoV-2. These mixtures are nontoxic and noncorrosive, and are already used by some industries to kill bacteria. The research team tested several mixtures of levulinic acid and acetic acid (vinegar) and found both completely neutralized the bacteriophage used as a surrogate for COVID-19. The team hopes additional studies can be done to determine the minimum concentration of carboxylic acid needed in the mixtures to defeat viruses and to define the mechanism that makes the acids act as antivirals.

Studying viability sterilizing masks with supercritical carbon dioxide

Researchers at Sandia Labs are testing the use of supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) to safely and reliably sterilize N95 masks and other critical medical supplies for reuse by health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many conventional sterilization methods cannot be used because they degrade mask performance. Supercritical CO2 is a solvent with the ability to penetrate microporous materials without leaving residue and alleviates the need to use harsher, more hazardous chemicals for sterilization. Supercritical CO2 cleaning equipment is becoming increasingly popular as an eco-friendly alternative in the dry-cleaning industry and, if deemed an appropriate and effective solution, could be rapidly deployed at wide scale.