Osram has begun selling a portable battery-powered UV-C canister to consumers for use in homes, cars, workplaces, or other environments to deactivate airborne coronavirus.

The AirZing UV-Compact, which Osram describes as “the size of a hairspray can,” is designed to stand on surfaces such as desktops. The product includes a 253.7-nm UV-C mercury discharge tube, which Osram says is fully enclosed inside the AirZing’s housing for safety purposes.

Portable UV C canisters provide take it with you coronavirus zapping

UV-C tubes at 254 nm have been proven to deactivate SARS-CoV-2, also known as the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. But UV-C is harmful to skin and eyes, which is why Osram is shielding the tube.

The canister also includes a fan to help draw in air and thus increase the rate of deactivation. Osram says that AirZing UV-Compact has a “purification radius” of up to a cubic metre and as such is intended for “close proximity” use. For entire rooms, Osram is offering products from its professional line, rather than the consumer-oriented canister, a spokesperson said.

Osram announced last June that is ramping up production of UV-C tubes. It has provided over 2000 hospitals in Wuhan and Beijing with UV-C surface disinfection lamps, and has also shipped UV-C products for use in Chinese kindergartens.

The new AirZing UV-Compact has a lithium battery life of around 90 minutes, and can be recharged in 4 hours via a USB connection, Osram said.

Osram is currently selling two versions in Europe. The standard product lists at €129 and is available in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK. The Pro model includes a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter that removes particulates such as pollen and dust. It lists at €159 and is scheduled for availability in the same countries via Amazon by next week. It stands 26 cm high and has a diameter of 7 cm. The standard model is slightly smaller, at 24×6.6 cm.

Enhanced air circulation, such as with the fan that Osram includes in the AirZing, is generally regarded as a good way to boost UV-C’s germicidal effectiveness. In a couple of recent examples, LED luminaire provider Healthe Inc embedded fans inside UV-C LED ceiling fixtures it provided the Miami Dolphins. And ceiling fan maker Big Ass Fans has built UV-C LEDs onto its products. In both cases, the UV-C LEDs come from Crystal IS, based near Albany, NY.


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Gregg Cocking
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Carin Hannay
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Crown Publications, one of South Africa’s largest business-to-business publishing houses, came into existence in 1986. Since then, the company has grown from producing a single magazine, Electricity SA (renamed Electricity+Control), to publishing six monthly magazines, three quarterlies, and a number of engineering handbooks.