Travelling on Irizar buses and coaches equipped with the Hispacold eco3 air purifier is safer and more sustainable

November 2020

The coaches that include the eCo3 air purifier are more than 99.7% effective in removing the coronavirus from the air, according to the test report carried out by the Biological Defence Area at the CBN Defence Systems Department of the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) – a subdivision of the Spanish Defence Ministry.

The Irizar Group continues to be committed to promoting sustainable collective mobility and the use of buses and coaches as the best alternative due to the benefits they provide in terms of safety, efficiency, connectivity and the reduction of contaminating and noise emissions. Travelling in Irizar buses and coaches is safer and more sustainable.  

This October, the Hispacold eco3 air purifier was rigorously tested under strict safety conditions and according to stringent testing criteria, at La Marañosa Campus, INTA’s technology centre, where the headquarters of the Subdirectorate General, Land Systems, is based. The trials were carried out inside a 15-meter long Irizar i6 coach equipped with a 35 kW air conditioning system, with independent control for driver and passengers and two eco3 air purifiers. The aim was to evaluate the reduction of viral load in the cabin.

Due to the current legislation regarding “the protection of workers from risks related to exposure to biological agents in the workplace”, it was not possible to replicate safely inside a vehicle using the SARS-CoV-2 so the MS2 virus was chosen instead as it is 10 times more resistant than SARS-CoV-2. The trials concluded that the air treatment systems – the eco3 air purifiers – installed in coach were effective in reducing the MS2 viral load by 99.7% under the test conditions.

When HVAC systems are in operation, the eco3 air purifier emits ions into the air, creating an environment free of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, microorganisms, bacteria, germs, allergens and dust particles. In addition, during the ion-generation process, ozone is produced in very low concentration (<0.05 ppm), which is harmless to passengers. This eliminates unpleasant odours and increases the oxygen concentration in the passenger compartment, reducing feelings of tiredness among passengers and drivers.

The eco3 air purifier is sited inside the return air equipment where the cleaning and disinfection of the interior air takes place and where the HVAC equipment’s own vents distribute the treated air back into the vehicle interior.

Constant interior air renewal is also key in protecting the health of passengers and drivers. The climate systems are designed to work with a mix of interior and replacement exterior air, which before being heat treated and introduced into the passenger cabin, passes through a filtering section, where most potentially harmful particles are removed, improving interior air quality.

Besides, Irizar climate systems guarantee the interior air being renewed every 3 or 4 minutes, exceeding regulation requirements of the regulations.

The eco3 has proved to be highly effective in vehicles in which it has been fitted. SGS, the world leader in inspection, verification, testing and certification, has also tested it and certified its efficacity. The Department of Chemistry Analysis at Seville University’s Chemistry Faculty also tested the system and the results showed the total number of units formed by bacterial colonies was reduced by 93%.

This evidence the Irizar Group’s commitment to providing solutions to offer health care and protection to passengers and to contribute to the reactivation of the public transport sector as an objective for a safer and more sustainable of the mobility of the future.