Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

LEGIOTEX — Result In Brief

Project ID: 222111
Funded under: FP7-SME

Disinfecting heating and cooling systems

Researchers developed a filtration system to prevent Legionella proliferation within climate control equipment located in large public and industrial facilities.
Disinfecting heating and cooling systems
Legionella is a pathogenic bacterium that causes Legionnaires' Disease, a potentially fatal type of pneumonia. Just over 9 000 cases of the disease were reported across Europe between 2003 and 2004.

Climate control equipment like cooling systems, tanks, boilers and heaters can provide ideal conditions for Legionella to thrive. A bactericidal system is thus needed for such equipment and this is what the EU-funded LEGIOTEX project set out to create.

An innovative system consisting of two components, a filter and an electronic control system, was developed. Researchers made the filter from non-woven filtering fabric, which is treated with environmentally-friendly Legionella biocides. The fabric is chemically inert, non-toxic and recyclable. Several prototypes of a reusable cartridge, on which the filter is mounted, have been tested and optimised for use in the different equipment.

The electronic control system monitors the efficiency of the filter based on bactericide efficacy and mechanical behaviour. Sensors can detect the growth of a biofilm and are then able to signal an alarm or cause the system to carry out a necessary action.

LEGIOTEX has provided a filtering system that is novel, cheap, reliable, and easy to install and operate. It is expected to have a huge impact on human health, with an anticipated reduction in Legionnaires' disease cases of about 1 500. The use of recyclable materials is also expected to have a positive effect on the environment.

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