Honors Gallery

Micro Aerosol Disinfecting System

Award: Excellence in Technology Transfer

Year: 2016

Award Type:

Region: Far West

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

The Micro Aerosol Disinfecting System turns a simple salt solution into a fine aerosol fog containing natural and powerful molecules that disinfect an entire room. The simple-to-use, inexpensive system can kill at least 99.999 percent of tiny, health-harming microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and mold spores.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) developed the initial concept for the Micro Aerosol Disinfecting System while working in partnership with a Russian institution under the U.S. Department of Energy's Global Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention program. PNNL later finalized the technology's design and proved its effectiveness with internal funding and support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. PNNL licensed the system to Watertech Equipment & Sales, LLC, which is preparing to sell the technology under the product name NebuPure. Watertech has conducted further tests and made additional improvements with PNNL's support and is now actively marketing the technology to a number of industries.

The technology's initial development included a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with a start-up research company. One of that company's leaders spun off his own company in the hopes of commercializing the technology, but lacked the business expertise and connections needed to move the technology to market. Despite these early disappointments, PNNL continued to believe in the technology and its tremendous commercial potential. The Laboratory then independently funded the system's continued development and later tested its efficacy for the military, which drew Watertech's interest.

The simple-to-use, inexpensive system can kill at least 99.999 percent of tiny, health-harming microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and mold spores.

Dedication and tenacity enabled PNNL to sign with Watertech an option-to-license agreement--developed within one hour during Watertech's initial visit to PNNL--in December 2014, eight years after the Laboratory first began developing the technology. To seal the deal, PNNL staff put forth considerable effort to explain, demonstrate and document the micro aerosol system's abilities to Watertech. As a result, a final license agreement was signed just eight months later in July 2015.

The Micro Aerosol Disinfecting System offers a simple-to-use, highly effective, low-cost, and nontoxic way to eliminate a variety of pathogens responsible for various dangerous ailments ranging from common staph infections and the flu to Ebola. Removing pathogens from public areas such as hospitals, schools, auditoriums and locker rooms, and from commercial places related to agriculture, food production, travel and leisure can quickly and effectively stop an epidemic in its tracks, saving countless lives and billions in recuperative costs in the process.

Team Members:

Dr. Evgenia I. Rainina, Ron Thomas, Derek Maughan, Glenn Barrett, Keith Johnson, Eric Frische