April 16, 2021

Thermo King Launches Air Purification System for Public Buses

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This solution helps Americans return to work with safer and healthier public commutes

Thermo King, a leader in sustainable transport temperature control solutions, has launched a new air purification solution for buses that continuously purifies the air while the bus is in operation. Thermo King’s Air Purification Solution has been independently tested and proven to be 98% effective in deactivating certain viruses, including a surrogate for the virus that causes COVID-19*.

“Our public transit customers understand that riders may feel apprehensive about getting back into their normal routines and taking public transportation,” said Karin De Bondt, president of Thermo King Americas. “Customers and consumers face a wide range of claims in the market regarding air purification. We offer a proven solution, tested and validated by third party experts, that provides safer, healthier air quality for drivers and passengers while in transit.” 

More on Thermo King’s Air Purification Solution Features:

  • Leverages an innovative graphene-enhanced photocatalytic oxidation (GPCO) device coupled with a pre-filter.
  • The pre-filter collects particulate matter while the GPCO device produces oxidants that deactivate various pathogens as the air passes through.
  • Graphene’s properties enhance the performance and safety of the solution beyond what was possible with previous-generation photocatalytic oxidation products.
  • The solution allows operation while passengers are present and does not emit harmful byproducts such as ozone and removes harmful VOC’s such as formaldehyde.

Additional Background on Independent Tests:

  • Thermo King’s Air Purification Solution was tested at air flow rates that simulate the air changes per hour common in transit buses.
  • • The independent laboratory tested multiple types of contaminants, including viruses and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • While not tested against COVID-19 specifically, the lab used MS2 Bacteriophage, a common surrogate used for the SARS-CoV-2 virus known to cause COVID-19.
  • All test results were processed and validated by a third-party industry expert who is also an ASHRAE fellow, and a member of the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force.
  • Thermo King’s solution was proven to be 98% effective within 20 minutes of turning on the device.
  • Thermo King’s Air Purification Solution should be used in conjunction with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health authorities such as face coverings and social distancing.
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Thermo King’s exclusive Air Purification Solution is integrated in the bus heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit. The solution leverages a filter, paired with an innovative cleaning technology, to capture and deactivate certain viruses like the virus that causes COVID-19*, bacteria and volatile organic compounds as the air is exchanged. It was tested extensively by an independent laboratory following guidelines of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Public bus transit is a major driver of economic stability in cities across the U.S., with millions of people who rely on it every day,” said De Bondt. “As passengers feel confident about resuming public transport, they will have greater access to jobs and schools, supporting economic mobility across socioeconomic groups. Resumption of public transport also lowers the carbon footprint, supporting more sustainable cities.”

In 2019, Americans took 9.9 billion trips on public transportation, with 87% of these trips having a direct economic impact on local economies. According to the American Public Transportation Association, at the height of the pandemic in 2020, some cities experienced a nearly 90% decline in bus ridership. 

Trane Technologies has been at the forefront of helping to create safer, healthier, and more efficient environments for homes, buildings and transportation around the world. In 2020, the company introduced the Center for Healthy and Efficient Spaces (CHES) and convened an external advisory council to support these efforts.