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Guide - UV Air Purification & Infection Control

UV Air Purification - The Last Frontier of Infection Control

For the healthcare sector, infection control has been in the spotlight for several years, and in that time there have been huge strides in reducing hospital acquired infections, however there is at least one problem that persists. Whilst infections can be reduced by surface cleaning, patient and staff hygiene and other in ward measures, there is still the risk that infections once established can spread through the air, carried on air borne dust particles or droplets. Not only can infections spread by this method within a room, but with the help of ducted ventilation systems the infections can spread on the ducted air flow throughout the building, particularly if the age of the ducting system predates the modern day standards which discourage recirculation of air. Infection control in both ducted air and in room air is the specialist capability of Sanuvox systems.

 virusIt seems that this last frontier of infection control has in the past fallen between two fields of responsibility within healthcare establishments because typically, it falls to the estates manager to take responsibility for the hospital infrastructure including the ventilation systems, whilst infection control responsibility falls to the infection control officer.
What is critical for the implementation of the last frontier of infection control is that the estates and infection control management work together and understand the elements required to this type of solution. It is an 'estates thing' but with a clear infection control objective.


The Benefits of UV Air Purification in Healthcare Environments

The Key Benefits of Sanuvox Systems

The Bonus Benefits of Sanuvox Systems

Destroy biohazards
including -

biological contaminants

Destroy biological 
contaminants, i
ncluding -

chemical contaminants

Oxidise chemical 
contaminants including - 

 odour icon

Oxidise odours 
including -

  • MRSA
  • C difficile
  • Anthrax spores
  • TB
  • Legionella
  • Dysentery bacilli
  • Cold virus
  • Flu virus
  • Mould spores
  • Many other viruses, bacteria and spores to numerous to mention


  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Formaldehyde
  • Chemicals from furnishings
  • Ozone
  • Chemicals off-gassed from building materials and paints
  • Traffic fumes including benzene
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Body odours
  • Food odours
  • Traffic smells
  • Damp
  • External odours
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Wash room smells



Stop serious airborne micro organism threats passing through the ventilation system. A vital component of building bio security, business continuity and infection control.

Airborne infection control. Prevents infections on bioaerosols travelling through ventilation system, therefore reduces staff infection rates and absenteeism


Less incidence of staff nausea related sickness therefore higher productivity



No smells - happy building occupants

What Does UV Air Purification Actually Do?


Inside ventilation systems - In the building's ventilation system can be a number ventilation circuits each serving a number or rooms or areas in the building. In each ventilation system will be an air handling unit (AHU) complete with a fresh and recirculated air mixer box, filters, heating and cooling coils, and a fan. Sanuvox UV based infection control equipment is installed the supply duct down stream of the AHU and its filters.  The Sanuvox in-duct air purification unit provides sufficient intensity and duration of a specific frequency of UV light that destroys air borne biological contamination, thus implementing infection control to to the areas served by the ventilation system. The last frontier of infection control is in the duct. 

Sanuvox MB500 ceiling mounted UV air purifierSanuvox MB500Inside rooms including wards, waiting rooms, treatment rooms  - Not only can infection control be achieved for air passing through the buildings ducting systems, but Sanuvox can supply UV stand alone systems that are designed for infection control within a room. For this type of infection control the Sanuvox P900GX and MB500 units are used.


The P900GX is a UV based unit that is in a free standing or wall mounted format for continuously re-circulating air inside a room, whilst the MB500 is a ceiling mounted unit that is designed to easily retrofitted into a standard 2' square ceiling grid system. Both offer an ability to dramatically reduce the active count of airborne biological contaminants, thereby establishing the foundation of airborne infection in the treated room. Also these stand alone units also offer the same wider air purification benefits as the Sanuvox in-duct units, namely the removal of airborne chemicals and odours.Sanuvox P900GX uv air purifierSanuvox P900GX

Change The Air Purification Mindset

Traditional Approach
  • What filtration efficiency is required for infection control, in order to catch bugs including spores, viruses or bacteria? 

  • How many carbon filters are needed to prevent odours, and chemical contaminants?

New Approach
  • How much UV energy is needed to destroy bugs including spores, viruses or bacteria, in order to have effective infection control?
  • How much UV energy is needed to remove odours and chemicals?

In solving the same problem, the difference between the traditional and smarter answers is similar to the difference between a sledgehammer and nut cracker. With this approach we are not trying to catch everything in order to catch the target contaminants; instead we are targeting the biological and chemical contaminants and not wasting energy on everything else. 

Today's Air Purification Solution

Accepting that your buildings ventilation system has at least F6 efficiency filters in the air handling unit, then the smart way to establish airborne infection control and get chemically clean air (including odours) is to use a Sanuvox 'in-duct' ultraviolet air purification system. The big benefits of these systems compared to high efficiency filters and carbon filters is that;



      Installation is easy - it is mounted in the duct and not the air handling unit


      Power cost is low - similar to an equivalent size and number of florescent lamps


      Prolonged maintenance interval - lamps typically have a life of over 3 years


      Additional pressure load on system fan is negligible.


      Overall running cost (including power and replacement parts) is typically 4 -6 times lower

Why Sanuvox UV Air Purification

Sanuvox in-duct air purifiers use ultraviolet light at exactly the correct wave length, at a very high intensity and for a high exposure time to effectively disable all the biological contaminants on the air that pass it, including spores, bacteria and viruses. This means that a hospital or health centre with Sanuvox Biowall units fitted for infection control can almost guarantee that infections will not pass through the duct work system from one ventilated area to another. 

There are plenty of companies that offer UV air purifiers. None of their systems are like Sanuvox equipment, with an array of lamps supported in the middle of the process air stream and running parallel to the airflow. Only Sanuvox use lamps that are 'spliced' from two types of high quality quartz glass, so that they can use the benefits of both UV-V and  UV-C light. The lamps have exceptionally long life and the electronic ballast and control system is very sophisticated, enabling monitoring of lamp life and lamp operation as well as integration into the building management system (BMS)


Compared to other UV system providers, Sanuvox provides greater benefits to users because;

FeatureBecauseYour Gains
Lower lamp change frequencyBetter quality lamps
  • Low maintenance requirement
  • Lower running costs
Higher operational efficiencyParallel to air stream, in-duct format
  • Better quality air in building
  • Leading edge in-duct infection control
Effective infection control and and chemical purificationSpliced UV-V and UV-C lamps
  • Wider range of challenges met
  • Enhanced reputation
Ease of managementSanuvox in duct systems can integrate with your building management system (BMS)
  • System safety
  • Easy system monitoring
  • Low building management time input
  • Lower cost of management

Does Sanuvox Infection Control Work ?

Yes, it works.  We do not make spurious 99.999% efficiency claims, that might be standard practice for other suppliers. We can specify Sanuvox technology using our bespoke engineering programs to provide the exact solution to your application. Thus if your infection control requirement is to achieve at least 98% efficiency against, say, C difficile on a particular airflow in a particular duct we can specify a system to do this and tell you exactly how efficient the installation will be.

Department of Homeland Security Sanuvox Research
These air purifiers have far wider applications than just infection control and indeed they are also used for air air sterilisation in food production facilities, defence establishments, vehicles and for industrial odour control.

Sanuvox air purifiers are even used to protect occupants of buildings against bioterrorism attacks and spores such as anthrax and in that regard Sanuvox Biowall has been extensively lab tested and proven by none other than the National Homeland Security Research Centre in US (sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency in the US). They reckon Sanuvox works; as do countless users across the globe.

To open summary of this research click here
To open full report of this research click here

Given that it has been proven that these systems can destroy anthrax spores and that requires 7 times more UV irradiation than required to achieve the same efficiency kill on MRSA then it is fair to say that killing MRSA is very easily within the infection control capabilities for Sanuvox systems.         

Sanuvox UV Air Purification FAQs

 General Product Range
 What makes indoor air polluted? What in-duct air purifiers do Sanuvox make?
 How does UV light help? What other air purifiers do Sanuvox make?
 What does UV-C light do? What surface sterilisers do Sanuvox make?
 What does UV-V light do? Is Sanuvox technology recognised and certified?
 Where does UV fit with air filtration?  
 Can UV be used in smaller buildings like houses? 

Sanuvox Design Features

 What are the two main types of Ultra Violet purifier? How is the Biowall induct solution installed
 What are the critical factors for high efficiency purification using UV? Why are Sanuvox UV lamps so good?
   Why do Sanuvox systems use parabolic reflectors?
   What is the point of  using parallel lamp installation?
   What about the system control?

How Much Does UV Air Purification Save From The Bottom Line?

The high pressure drop across HEPA and carbon filters creates very high running costs.

In this example we compare a 10000 m3/hr airflow through HEPA filters (which may not even be high enough efficiency for your infection control objectives) and carbon filters with treatment using a Sanuvox Biowall.

The base line information for this example is as follows;


Find out how much filter pressure drop actually costs


energy cost calculator 

Pressure drop of high efficiency filters300Pascals
Pressure drop on carbon filters150Pascals
Hours operation per year5000hrs
Cost of electricity10pence per kwh
Fan efficiency60%
Fan motor efficiency90%
Filter change out period1per year
Sanuvox Biowall lamp change out1per 17000 hrs

Based on the above input data the comparison beteeen the two approaches is clear;


 HEPA filters and carbon filters for infection controlSanuvox Biowall for infection control
Electrical power cost per year£1155.50£230
Approx replacement elements costs per change out£2070£1000
Annualised replacement elements cost£2070£294.11
Total annual running cost£3225.50£524.11

On this small scale example you save £2701.39 per year.

Or put it another way; for this example the running cost of infection control using a Sanuvox Biowall is less than 1/6th of the filter solution, and that is without considering the labour costs of the more frequent filter changes. A hospital could easily have more than a dozen such systems or larger. In addition to the obvious benefits of infection control and purified air, the savings compared to filter based solutions can be staggering.

Now What?

Unfortunately it is not possible implement the last frontier of infection control by browsing this or any other website, but you can start the process by calling us and on 0845 688 0112, asking for Bill Anderson. Alternatively contact us by email.

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Infection Controlled