Ford Partners with Jiarong Hong to Create Air Filtration Kits
ME Associate Professor Jiarong Hong worked with Ford Motor Company to create air filtration box fan kits that can be assembled at homes or schools to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
COVID-19 air filtration box fan kits
Ford has developed an air filtration kit that people can make at home or in school. The air filtration kit supplements a room’s existing filtration system to further help reduce the risk of COVID-19 virus particle concentrations. The kits are based upon scientific studies from academic and government research.
The company plans to donate up to 20,000 air filtration kits to underserved communities. More details will be shared by March.
The filtration kit is comprised of an easy-to-assemble die-cut cardboard base, a 20-inch box fan, and a 20x20x4 air filter with a standard minimum efficiency reporting value of 13. The air filter is placed inside the folded base with the fan placed on top. The fan operates on high for maximum filtration, discharging clean air downward as it pulls in unfiltered air from above.
Because COVID-19 can spread through droplets when infected persons exhale, cough, sneeze or talk, Ford conducted smoke particulate testing of the air filter at an independent test lab using the industry standard AHAM AC-1 test. These tests show that the unit provides a clean air discharge rate of 213 cubic feet per minute.
Ford and the University of Minnesota conducted aerosol modeling studies in a classroom-sized space that show increasing air filtration in closed spaces helps reduce particulate concentration, which includes aerosols and droplets.
“Our modeling results clearly show that improvements in air filtration of poorly ventilated spaces through the proper use of a portable air cleaner can help reduce the chance of breathing in contaminated aerosols,” said Dr. Jiarong Hong, mechanical engineering professor in the University of Minnesota’s college of science and engineering.
The impact of the portable air cleaner unit depends on where it’s placed and the size of the room. Ford studies show that with a room size of approximately 960 square feet, similar to an average-size classroom, adding two portable air cleaner units can triple the air changes per hour compared to what a building HVAC system alone would clean, refreshing the air 4.5 times per hour.
Ford is also making the base design available free here: How to Assemble a COVID-19 Air Filtration Box Fan. Ford does not provide the fan or filter. An empty home delivery box can serve as the base.
Source: Ford press release