Design students Sum Ming Wong and Kin Pong Li from Hong Kong were inspired by the SARS outbreak in 2004 to create a self-sanitizing door handle that doesn’t require any manual work. Put simply, the glass tube handle sports aluminum caps at each end, all covered in a powdered photocatalytic coating made from titanium dioxide.
When the handle turns on, bacteria is automatically destroyed through a chemical reaction activated by UV light reacting with the thin coating on the glass tube. Everything is powered by an internal generator, as the handle converts kinetic energy from the door’s motion into light energy. During tests, the students found that it killed 99.8% of the microbes. Though not a production readily available to purchase (yet), it took home a prize at the James Dyson Awards 2019.
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