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Aireamos platform to stop aerosol transmission of Covid-19

The Aireamos platform is the result of the efforts of different Spanish research groups and entities that are studying the virus transmission mechanism via aerosol by analyzing CO2 levels in air. The platform was presented via Youtube on 3 December 2020. Albert Verdaguer, ICMAB researcher, is part of this group.

11 December 2020
An open window in an office building
An open window in an office building

Spearheaded by Prof. José Luis Jiménez from the University of Colorado Boulder, the Aireamos group unites 12 different institutions in order to improve our collective response to the coronavirus. Their focus is on ventilation, which they point out is one of the key factors in the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Noting that spread by surfaces has been found to be responsible for between 0 and 15% of infection cases, José Luis Jiménez says “if we are very close one another, contagion happens through aerosols […], or if we share the air in the same room”.

The answer to reduce this type of transmission through aerosols and air is to ventilate the rooms we are in, especially in situations where the other measures that we know, like wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, become insufficient or hard to apply.

Aireamos is facing aerosol transmission with three kinds of actions:

  • Research on the virus spread and on how to improve CO2 measurements, the main tool we have to know how fresh the air we are breathing is. There are several fields to approach this, including materials science. Researchers from the Physical Chemistry of Surfaces and Interfaces Group at ICMAB are part of this project.
  • Education and communication on how and why we should ventilate different types of spaces in order to reduce the likeliness of the virus spreading in a specific context. Their work already shows in a few infographics that you can download and print from their website.
  • Development and implementation of CO2 sensors that are accurate and affordable. One of the founding groups is looking for a million euros in funding to develop affordable sensors that will be distributed through schools.

The official presentation of the platform was performed via the Youtube channel of Fundación Ibercaja on 3 December 2020 and it already counts with more than 2,500 views.

Optimizing CO2 sensors working conditions

Albert Verdaguer, ICMAB researcher at the Physical Chemistry of Surfaces and Interfaces Group at ICMAB, is collaborating with the Aireamos project. His team is developing simultaneous research in humidity, temperature, and CO2, to help calibrate the measurements of CO2 sensors and make sure they are reliable under all environmental conditions.

The group also studies the impact of humidity in air on COVID transmission via aerosol, which will help stablish what humidity and temperature conditions are the more appropriate to minimize this kind of transmission.

aireamos group

Members of the Aireamos Platform during the presentation.

More information

Cover image: An open window in an office building by Chris Barbalis

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