Allaying Fears: Nissan’s New Technology Inactivates Viruses and Bacteria

Nissan’s antiviral technology claims to fight the Covid-19 virus.

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Update time:
September 22, 2022, 9:39 am

Nissan hasn't said when the technology will be available in mass-market cars.  (Reuters)
Nissan hasn’t said when the technology will be available in mass-market cars. (Reuters)

Nissan has announced a new technology that it claims can inactivate viruses and bacteria. The technology claims to be jointly developed with Northeastern University’s School of Pharmacy. The technology uses organic nitroxyl radical oxidation catalysts, or so-called free-radical catalysts, which act as additives in polymer base materials for automotive coatings, as well as in fiber and organic polymer materials for cabin and exterior applications.

(Also read: Nissan Rogue Sport SUV to roll off the assembly line in December)

In Nissan vehicles, free radical catalysts prevent photodegradation reactions such as prolonged cracking, embrittlement and fading. The automaker claims to have been researching and developing other uses for free-radical catalysts in an attempt to make the most of their catalytic activity. In the case of viruses, free radical catalysts inactivate the virus by oxidizing organic compounds, or more specifically, the spike protein to prevent binding to human cells. “Nissan’s technology and expertise in vehicle development, and the skills of Tohoku University faculty in drug development, drug evaluation and other pharmaceutical sciences, catalyst preparation and catalyst performance evaluation,” the Japanese automaker said in a statement .

Nissan also claims that the technology works on the SARS-CoV2 virus. The technology is said to work in dark conditions at room temperature without the need for light exposure, which is often the case with oxidation. The automaker also said the technology can also inactivate pathogens such as fungi and bacteria. While the technology is still in development, Nissan is considering a more comprehensive range of applications for the system in the future.

This isn’t the first time an automaker has implemented this technology. Previously, Honda also developed a technology that can prevent the virus from entering the cabin through the cabin air filter. The Japanese auto giant calls the technology Kurumask, an antiviral product.

Date of first release: September 22, 2022 at 9:39 am IST

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