Scots scientists develop technology to successfully decontaminate PPE

Germs and viruses such as E. coli, S. aureus and coronavirus were successfully 'killed' during trials.

University of West of Scotland and Advanced Clothing Solutions create ‘sanitation chamber UWS

An eco-friendly technology developed by Scottish scientists could dramatically reduce waste after it was able to successfully decontaminate PPE.

Created by the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and Advanced Clothing Solutions (ACS), the patented technology was initially developed in a bid to disrupt ‘fast fashion’ and stop used clothing ending up in landfill. 

However the state of the art ‘sanistation chamber’ has shown to effectively kill a vast range of germs and viruses such as E. coli, S. aureus and coronavirus.

After testing, researchers were able to successfully decontaminate PPE, allowing it to be reworn safely, which may significantly reduce environmental waste.

Anthony Burns, chief operating officer of ACS Clothing, said: “At ACS, we are known for helping retailers to grow their sustainable and circular fashion ambitions by providing a complete rental and resale service, managing the entire process from our purpose-built facility. However, introducing circularity and reuse of PPE has presented an interesting but not insurmountable environmental opportunity.

“Every piece of PPE presents a sustainability and recycling challenge. Many items were initially deemed single-use because knowledge of sterilising these items wasn’t available. With sterilisation technology, we hope to reverse much of this single-use problem. 

“We are delighted to have put our partnership with UWS to good use to help develop revolutionary eco-friendly sterilisation technology that can drastically reduce landfill waste from clothing, textiles, and PPE products.”

Dr Mohammed Yaseen, of UWS’s School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences, added: “This revolutionary technology has real potential to disrupt the fashion and textile industry and offers huge environmental benefits, which could see a significant reduction in landfill waste from clothing.

“The eco-friendly solution uses ozone gas to decontaminate fabrics, which subsequently helps to reduce the use of water and avoid negative environmental impacts from detergent use.

“The success of the project is undoubtedly due to the strong partnership between UWS and ACS, initiated through Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme. Our KTP Associate, Dr Emmanuel Epelle, has been central to the project’s success.”

The ‘santisation chamber’ will be installed at ACS’s automated fashion fulfilment facility on the outskirts of Glasgow and will offer retailers and brands an alternative, environmentally friendly solution for sanitising used clothing and accessories.

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