Students Create Self Sanitizing Door Handle That Destroys 99.8% of Germs

By: | June 28th, 2015

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Germs are all around us. Though most of them are harmless, some can cause serious infections and illnesses. Germs are most often spread by hands through person-to-person contact and make people sick.

In public places…doorknobs, door handles or shopping cart handles are some of the dirtiest places that spread diseases.

To revolutionize hand hygiene, two teens from Hong Kong have come up with an innovative idea where germ spreading-surfaces will be able to disinfect themselves.

They have created a special door handle that can eliminate 99.8% of germs and bacteria. They used the coating of a powdered mineral called titanium dioxide, which is widely used in sunscreens, on a glass handle.

Titanium dioxide is an efficient bacteria-killing material, but this mineral works best when exposed to ultraviolet or UV light. So, the students embedded a UV light source inside the one of the brackets holding the door handle.

When someone grabs the handle to open the door, UV rays are fired that activate the titanium dioxide and kills the bacteria on the hand. The best part is that the UV light is powered by the energy generated from the door’s motion.

The boys only spent $13 to create this handle for their science project at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, held recently in Pennsylvania.

Hopefully, this great idea will be used for mass production soon.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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