Jakarta – BRIN Public Relations. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit most countries in the world, especially in Indonesia, since early 2020. Various efforts have been made to suppress the transmission of Covid-19 virus, starting from the launch of the 3M movement, namely washing hands, wearing masks, and avoiding crowds to the use of vaccines. On that basis, the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) together with PT. Brastow Indosukses Mandiri has developed a purifier or air sterilizer named Zerocov which is expected to reduce the spread of the virus.

Zerocov is an air sterilizer that combines three technologies, namely purifier, ultraviolet light, and negative ions added with phenol compound. This tool functions not only to protect defensively but also to actively attack microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, etc.) so as to effectively eradicate microorganisms.

Acting Deputy for Research and Innovation Utilization, Mego Pinandito said that the cooperation between these two parties is an important momentum in a research activity. The most important thing from a research and innovation activity is the downstreaming of research products to the public.

“This is an important moment, where research and innovation have reached the downstreaming process. This is evidenced by the production of Zerocov purifier from a collaboration between BRIN and PT. Brastow Indosukses Mandiri,” said Mego at the signing of patent cooperation for the air sterilizer equipped with UVC and phenolic compounds as the active ingredients for sterilizing, at the Thamrin Building, Jakarta Thursday (24/03).

According to Mego, the results of research and innovation would not mean anything if the government is present, the researchers are there, the research results are also available, but there are no industrial partners to deliver them to the community. Therefore, this collaboration is a good thing and is part of efforts to strengthen the research ecosystem in Indonesia.

Director of PT. Brastow Indosukses Mandiri, Wirawan Darmana, said that the development of this air sterilizer began from his experience in dealing with bird flu that once hit Indonesia. At that time, Wirawan successfully made an air sterilizer using UVC and phenol which was intended for animals, and according to him it was a success.

“During the Covid-19 outbreak, we used this tool in rooms with a lot of people. This of course needs validation whether the chemical formula used is safe for humans, therefore, we collaborate with BRIN,” said Wirawan.

With the research capabilities of the BRIN team, continued Wirawan, it was found that with a phenol concentration of 0.05%, it was declared safe for humans. He hopes that this tool can later be used as a protective device and can be placed in public places to protect the public from attacks by viruses or harmful microorganisms.

Acting Head of the Electronics Research Center, Yusuf Wijayanto said, regarding this air sterilizer, BRIN has carried out various studies and tests aimed at ensuring that the chemicals used in the equipment are safe for human health. The tests carried out included studies related to use of phenolic compounds and UV for air sterilization, testing the effectiveness of  Zerocov to inhibit the growth of pathogenic microbes, safety testing on use of phenolic compounds to living things (rat as samples).

“In addition, we also determined the concentration values ​​of phenolic compounds that are safe to use, and recommend use of Zerocov both outside and inside enclosed spaces,” said Yusuf.

Furthermore, Yusuf said, Zerocov will continue to be refined and an effectiveness test for the Covid-19 virus will be carried out in the BSL 3 laboratory. In addition, Zerocov intelligent control development will be carried out by utilizing the internet of things.

Yusuf has high hopes for the use of this tool to inhibit the spread of Covid-19 virus. “Hopefully ZeroCoV can be a tool that can help during this pandemic time to inhibit the spread of COVID-19 and will in endemic time  provide an air environment that is sterile and healthy and fresh and clean. Hopefully Zerocov will be useful for the people towards Indonesia Rise and Progress,” Yusuf hoped.

Technically, Desak Gede Sri Andayani, a Senior Researcher from the Center for Environmental Research and Clean Technology, explained that  use of UV and phenol liquids in Zerocov functions as an antimicrobial/antiseptic which is disinfectant in nature. “Both have the same function, but of course, with different strengths depending on the concentration and intensity,” said Desak.

Desak hopes that Zerocov is better known by the public and becomes part of the implementation of a healthy life. Using Zerocov is expected to avoid pathogen attacks or other disease causes in pandemic or endemic conditions. (pur)