Ballast water treatment firm developing coronavirus killer

A company involved in treating ballast water has mutated its research and development focus to tackle Covid-19. BIO-UV Group, a firm treating ballast water with ultra-violet technology, is testing surface disinfection by a handheld UV ray device to kill the coronavirus. Once validated, it could be ready by the end of next month.

A prototype scanner based around BIO-UV Group’s UV-C reactor technology is currently being independently verified.

The 50cm handheld device emits a ray of UV-C which is passed over the surface, taking only seconds to disinfect the scanned area. The company claims the scanner can be used to kill the coronavirus from hospital beds, tables, computer keyboards, furniture and all other surfaces.

In parallel, BIO-UV Group subsidiary Triogen is currently working on the development of a disinfection system for wet surfaces using ozone.

BIO-UV Group’s founder and CEO Benoít Gillmann said: “We mobilised our R&D team to develop a system of disinfection for surfaces intended, as a priority, for all nursing staff. However, the technology has potential application in other sectors.”

If the UV-C scanner’s efficiency is successfully demonstrated, it could be introduced to medical personnel and healthcare workers from the end of May.

“At a later stage, the system will be marketed to other industrial sectors, including the maritime sector to help safeguard our seafarers from being infected. Marketing will go ahead once CE marking has been obtained,” Gillmann said.

Among other notable French maritime-linked developments in the fight against coronavirus, a ship at the port of Sete in the south of the country has become a factory churning out tons of hand sanitiser.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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