Researchers at New York’s Binghamton University are using a grant of nearly $200,000 from the National Science Foundation to test the effectiveness of UV light at killing Covid-19.

The team hopes to discover which UV wavelength works best, how long UV exposure might take to kill Covid-19 and whether the ozone produced by lower-wavelength UV bulbs is needed for sterilisation.

Binghamton University labs do not yet have access to the biohazard containment facilities that would allow them to experiment directly on the Covid-19 virus. Instead, the UV’s effectiveness will be tested on masks inoculated with Bacillus bacteria, one of the most difficult strains of microorganism to kill.

If the bacteria spores do not survive UV exposure, it will show that the Covid-19 can be eliminated in this way too, the researchers said.