New Hi-Tech Corona-Killing Tunnel can Re-Open Airports, Stadiums Instantly

June 2, 2020

4 min read

The need to quickly and effectively disinfect large, high-traffic public spaces is the latest challenge in the corona-crisis. But how can a stadium owner disinfect thousands of fans entering a stadium in a safe manner?

The answer could be a new tunnel that was invented by in Israel. With this cutting-edge technology, everyone entering the complex must walk through a corridor and is that subtlety disinfects them with an environmentally friendly, water based disinfectant without them even noticing it.

The breakthrough technology was designed by Israeli academics who have turned tap water into a safe disinfectant. They joined forces with RD Pack, a company in Karmiel, to incorporate the disinfectant solution in a sanitary tunnel it developed to disinfect entrances to public venues worldwide.

How it works

The disinfection and sanitation tunnel sprays a water-based solution that provides maximum protection against both bacteria and viruses, including corona-type viruses. It can disinfect both people and objects. 

Over the next month, the Sport Palaces of Tel Aviv Yafo Ltd. – a municipal company that manages sports and cultural facilities including Bloomfield Stadium – will erect the tunnel at the entrance to the stadium as part of a pilot program until the end of the soccer season. Researchers at Bar-Ilan University appeared on Tuesday at the stadium with representatives of the company, RD Pack, to show journalists how it works.

It’s up and running

The patented technology, was developed a year ago and tested on COVID-19 at the Baruch Padeh-Poriah Medical Center in Tiberias. The product will become available to manufacturers who purchase the knowhow from BIU. RD Pack acquired the technology from Bar-Ilan University to create the water disinfectant and is currently implementing it. 

The antiseptic tunnels are designed to disinfect humans as well as objects through an aerosol system that splashes the antiseptic for maximum protection of people passing through the tunnel. The aerosol heads are located on the sides of the tunnel for maximum coverage of the space and to optimize disinfection efficiency. They fully disinfect those who enter the space as well as all the contact surfaces, including those not directly exposed to the sprays. This helps fight the spread of disease and create a clean public space. This, says the company, will allow a safe return to activity for crowds.

Reopening massive sport stadiums with ease

Maor Benjamini, director of TA-Jaffa Sports Center said of the corridor: “We are delighted to reopen Bloomfield Stadium and host the Premier League games while maintaining the guidelines that will ensure the health of players and teams. We set ourselves the goal of being at the forefront of technology and exploring advanced measures such as the unique disinfection tunnel, to maintain health and to accelerate the return of the audience to the stands.”

General view of the old Bloomfield soccer stadium in Jaffa on August 8, 2016. Photo by Flash90 *** Local Caption *** ????????
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Prof. Doron Aurbach and colleagues at the university’s chemistry department and the Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials used electrodes to turn water into a simple disinfectant that eliminates viruses and bacteria and avoids the environmental damage of existing disinfectants. Working with Dr. Eran Avraham and Dr. Izaak Cohen, Aurbach was able to adapt water technology as a means of fighting pathogens; extensive tests on the product’s effects on pathogens were conducted by Dr. Inna Kalt and Dr. Dr.Tatiana Borodianskiy Shteinberg of Sarid’s lab in the university’s Faculty of Life Sciences and proven to kill the novel coronavirus.

Eliminating the need for Purell

Tap water was placed in a controlled electrochemical process and stored as disinfectant in recycled or multi-purpose containers. The result was a safe material that could be used not only on hands but also on clothing, air conditioners, handles, curtains, beds and surfaces of any kind. When one removes a face mask and gloves, they too can be sprayed and safely reused, the team said – eliminating the need for alcohol gel that causes the skin to dry out.

The antiseptic produced from water are 100 times more effective than bleach and therefore has a low concentration of between 50 and 200 milligrams per liter of the ingredients to achieve neutralization activity (unlike bleach, which needs between 5,000 and 20,000 mgl). This means they are much more environmentally friendly. The liquid does not cause corrosion, and most importantly: at a concentration of 50 mg of which is a very small amount of an active substance; it does not cause skin burns or painful and itchy rashes. The possibility that these disinfectants are very effective in treating wounds is also being investigated. 

Viruses are being completely neutralized when exposed

When stored in containers without electrodes, the disinfectant can be used for up to two months and can be sold in recyclable bottles. When stored in reusable bottles, electrodes can be added to turn water, using a simple electrical process, into disinfectant for long-term use. 

Prof. Ronit Sarid, who researches viruses at Bar-Ilan, is conducting a study of various types of pathogens. “We are investigating the ability of substances to hamper the infectious power of the type-1 herpes simplex virus and of the OC43 human coronavirus that causes relatively mild respiratory infection in humans,” she explained. “The two viruses were completely neutralized when exposed to Prof. Aurbach’s disinfectant. The structure of OC43 is similar to that of SARS-COVID-19 that recently broke out, so it is possible to reach the conclusion that this virus too will easily be neutralized by the water-based disinfectant,” she concluded.

 

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