A team of researchers led by Arum Han from Texas A&M University has managed to confirm that exposing SARS-CoV-2 to high temperature for a very brief period of time results in neutralisation of the pathogen, phys.org reports.
The experiment conducted by Han and his colleagues involved heating a section of a stainless steel tube through which a solution containing the coronavirus was being run, and immediately cooling that section afterwards.
According to the media outlet, while previous studies have already displayed heat’s effectiveness in neutralising the coronavirus, they involved application of high temperatures "from anywhere from one to 20 minutes."
Han, however, now postulates that heating the coronavirus solution to about 72 degrees Celsius for about half a second can reduce the quantity of the pathogen in that solution by 100,000 times, thus neutralising it and preventing transmission.
"I was curious of how high of temperatures we can apply in how short of a time frame and to see whether we can indeed heat-inactivate the coronavirus with only a very short time," Han said. "And, whether such a temperature-based coronavirus neutralisation strategy would work or not, from a practical standpoint."
The research team also expects that this method can also be implemented to deal with other pathogens.
"Influenza is less dangerous but still proves deadly each year, so if this can lead to the development of an air purification system, that would be a huge deal, not just with the coronavirus, but for other airborne viruses in general," Han remarked.