The ability of coronavirus to survive on different surfaces for hours is one of the major issues, experts have been facing with the spread of the virus. Although it is easy to clean hard surfaces with alcohol-based sanitizers, however, cleaning delicate surfaces like cardboard is still tough. Many reports have found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours, whereas it can survive in the atmosphere for up to a few hours. Now, a team of experts from the University of California Los Angeles has found a way out. Experts have claimed that cold plasma can eliminate the virus on a wide range of delicate surfaces without damaging them. The team says that it is healthy to use air and electricity treatment, which has no side effects.
Scientists have said that plasma is least known among the main states of matter such as liquid, gas, and solid. It forms naturally in the upper atmosphere. It generates at the time when electrons are separated from their atoms, it makes the atom positively charged, later they together form a soup of charged particles, which are unstable and highly reactive than their equal gas state. Experts have noted that earlier cold plasma has been proved to be effective against many drug-resistant bacteria. It interacts with bacteria’s surface structure and DNA without damaging the human tissue. Scientists have seen that cold plasma can eliminate cancer cells as well. Recently, they have developed an atmospheric plasma jet device, which is fuelled by argon gas. Argon gas is considered an inert and stable element. It is one of the most abundant gases in the atmosphere. This device throws fast-paced electrons through the gas; this process strips the gas atoms of outer shell electrons when they bump into each other. As per the experts, it needs only 12 W of constant power to function.
Scientists have used this plasma device on six surfaces such as cardboard, football leather, plastic, and metal. They have found that the virus has been eliminated within 30 seconds on each one of these surfaces. As per the experts, when plasma interacts with air, reactive oxygen and nitrogen ions are produced, which help in eradicating the viral particles. They have used helium fed plasma as well, which has not been able to form these species of atoms; hence, it has been ineffective even after 5 minutes of application. Considering the findings of this study, scientists have advised that cold plasma should be examined for eliminating the aerosol-borne SARS-CoV-2 virus as well. Last year, a different team of experts has discovered a plasma filter, which has been able to eradicate 99 percent of viruses from the air.