Source: Knorr Brake Company announcement
WESTMINSTER, Md. – Testing by an independent, certified U.S. laboratory of a new air filtration system launched in North America by Knorr Brake Company (KBC), a subsidiary of Knorr-Bremse, has demonstrated that the 3-stage technology for use in rail transit vehicles is, at minimum, 99.99998 percent effective in eliminating airborne viruses and bacteria, including COVID-19.
According to the company, the powerful engineered solution – configured by Merak North America, a division of KBC – is the only one of its kind in the market.
KBC launched its 3-Stage Air Filtration & Purification System for rail transit vehicles in June 2020 as an engineered solution offering passengers and operations personnel protection against potential exposure to COVID-19, as well as other viruses, bacteria, and hazardous airborne particulates. The comprehensive HVAC filtration system guards against the spread of contagion by continuously cleansing the recirculated air during train operation.
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Independent aerosol testing conducted in August 2020 by Microchem Laboratory, an ISO 17025 accredited facility in Texas, found that the system eliminates a minimum 99.99993 percent of virus cells after just 15 minutes, and a minimum 99.99998 percent of virus cells after 30 minutes.
When it was introduced, KBC reported that – based on early testing – the patent-pending, 3-Stage system removed or eliminated up to 99.9 percent of airborne particulates, bacteria, and viruses. In terms of order of magnitude, 99.99998 percent effectiveness equates to roughly 5,000 times fewer virus cells per cubic meter than with a result of 99.9 percent.
The Microchem Laboratory testing was performed with MS2 Bacteriophage, which is a small, non-enveloped virus recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as one of the most difficult types of viruses to inactivate, and therefore considered by the EPA to be a representative viral screening tool.
“The results demonstrate that our 3-Stage Air Filtration & Purification System acts to clean both the air and the vehicle’s interior surface. Not only does it target the COVID-19 virus, but it will also provide the same level of protection against other viruses that recur annually in cold and flu season. This year, in particular, this is especially important,” said Rich Bowie, Knorr Brake Company vice president, marketing, sales & systems. “By deploying the system, rail operators will be able to enhance safety measures beyond the cleaning regimens already put in place.”
Bowie noted that most air filtration solutions utilize a single technology, but the 3-Stage system of filtration, purification, and disinfection outperforms any one of the steps alone. Field-proven, the system components are already in place in multiple locations around the globe, including the U.S., where transit authorities are piloting the 3-Stage system.
As a part of Munich, Germany-based Knorr-Bremse, Knorr Brake Company manufactures braking systems, passenger doors, and climate-control equipment for all types of passenger rail customers. Knorr-Bremse is the global market leader for braking and other systems for rail and commercial vehicles.