When using a room air filter from MANN+HUMMEL, Heilbronn University (HHN) demonstrates a reduction in aerosol particle concentration of up to 90% with the recommended setting and best possible installation. The research team led by Professor Jennifer Niessner and Prof. Dr. Raoul Zöllner investigated the relative risk of infection explicitly at the points where students inhale, relying on a low-cost sensor network and flow simulations.
Indoor air purifiers are controversial as a means of containing the SARS-CoV2 pandemic for schools and universities. One of the main routes of transmission for SARS-CoV-2 viruses are tiny airborne droplets called “aerosols” that are emitted when people breathe, talk, sneeze, cough, and sing. Mobile room air filters aim to reduce the indirect risk of infection by removing aerosol particles. However, it has not yet been clear what role the position and orientation of a room air filter has, whether these devices always lead to a similar reduction in infection risk at all positions, or possibly increase it locally in special cases.
HHN Professor Niessner and her team investigated the effectiveness of the OurAir SQ 2500 room air filter, which was provided by MANN+HUMMEL. The occupied seats in the test lecture hall, the location of the “infected”, the installation location and the orientation of the room air cleaner as well as the volume flow of the room air cleaner were varied and the temperature and the relative humidity were examined.
Measurements and flow simulations were used for this purpose. A period of time was considered, consisting of a combination of 20 min with a running particle generator and 20 min without particle generation. Even with an unfavorable position and orientation of the room air cleaner, the particle concentration is reduced by approx. 60 % on average. However, care must be taken to ensure that the direction of discharge does not allow particles to be transported from person to person. With a good set-up position, local reductions of up to 90% are measured in this combined scenario.
The device was set up in a step auditorium of the HHN, Campus Sontheim (room E116). Cardboard boxes with light bulbs served as dummies for people to simulate a real heating situation and a real flow obstacle. One of these dummies was equipped with an aerosol generator and emitted harmless salt spray. The team determined the aerosol particle concentration, and thus the risk of infection, using high-accuracy optical particle counters and a network of low-cost particle sensors placed in the “face” of the dummies, i.e., the locations of potential inhalation.
“The study results show that indoor air filters can help reduce the risk of infection in enclosed spaces and can be an effective component of pandemic response for schools or universities, for example.”
– Professor Jennifer Niessner
The results of the indoor air filter study are being incorporated into the collaborative research project “Test aerosols and methods for efficacy studies of air purification technologies against Sars-CoV-2.”
Niessner is cooperating here with colleagues from the University of Stuttgart, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the University Hospital of Tübingen.
The aim of this project is to investigate the application, characterization and sampling of test aerosols, to check whether analogies from surrogate viruses to SARS-CoV-2 are permissible and to find out how different parameters and spatial conditions influence the effectiveness of air purification devices.
Heilbronn University – Competence in Technology, Business and Computer Science
With approximately 8,200 students, Heilbronn University is one of the largest universities of applied sciences in Baden-Württemberg.
Its competence focus is on the fields of technology, business and computer science. At four locations in Heilbronn, Heilbronn-Sontheim,
Künzelsau and Schwäbisch Hall, the university offers more than 50 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. The university maintains close cooperation with companies from the region and is thus very strongly networked in teaching, research and practice.
Wastewater treatment plant in Tübingen now has fourth treatment stage
On July 21, 2021, Helmfried Meinel, Ministerial Director at the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Environment, visited the wastewater treatment plant in Tübingen, where he inaugurated the construction of the so-called fourth treatment stage. The fourth treatment stage will allow residues of pharmaceuticals and household chemicals to be filtered out of wastewater. “The elimination of trace substances is precautionary water protection,” Meinel emphasized. In Tübingen in particular, this plays a major role, he said, because it means that fewer trace substances end up in the Neckar River.
The Ministerial Director explained that Tübingen is only the second wastewater treatment plant in Baden-Württemberg, after the treatment plant in Eriskirch, to use an ozonation plant with downstream filtration for the elimination of trace substances. “Tübingen is thus one of the pioneers for this process combination in Baden-Württemberg. The big advantage is that it has a broad effect.” He said it is effective for a wide range of pharmaceuticals, hormones and numerous other substances. Even germs can be removed from wastewater.
20 wastewater treatment plants have been equipped with the fourth treatment stage so far
With a view to prevention, Meinel explained further, the Ministry of the Environment began several years ago to support the expansion of wastewater treatment plants with innovative processes for the so-called fourth purification stage for the elimination of trace substances. In doing so, the state is concentrating on particularly sensitive bodies of water, as well as large wastewater treatment plants and pollution hotspots.
“On this basis, 20 wastewater treatment plants in Baden-Württemberg are now equipped with a targeted purification stage for the removal of trace substances, and another 23 with this special technology are under construction or in planning.”
– Helmfried Meinel, Ministerial Director
State contributes almost three million euros in Tübingen
The state is contributing almost three million euros to the total eligible costs in Tübingen of almost 13.8 million euros. “This is money well invested,” Meinel said. In addition to the city of Tübingen, the municipalities of Ammerbuch and Rottenburg are also financing the expansion.
The ministerial director also praised the fact that with the completion of the expansion and the commissioning of filtration in Tübingen, phosphorus elimination has now been raised to an even better level. “Aquatic animals and plants also benefit from this, because the ecological condition in the Neckar can be noticeably and sustainably improved.”
The heavy rain and flooding not only claimed lives, but also caused enormous economic damage. To account for the material damage, the finance ministries of the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate as well as the Bavarian State Tax Office have each enacted disaster decrees. Thomas Loibl from Ecovis in Landshut explains which tax support measures flood victims can receive.
What happens if my accounting records were destroyed by the water?
If accounting documents and other records have been destroyed or lost due to the storm, there are no adverse tax consequences to be drawn from this. Important: The affected taxpayer should document the destruction or loss in a timely manner and, to the extent possible, provide proof or credible evidence.
What can business owners do to mitigate the significant financial burdens?
The respective disaster decrees contain more than 20 tax support measures for taxpayers who are directly and not insignificantly affected – for private individuals as well as special regulations for entrepreneurs. Some examples from both:
Deferral and enforcement measures as well as adjustment of advance payments.
Note: Affected parties can submit the applications until October 31, 2021.
Deferral and remission applications for trade tax.
These applications must be submitted to the municipalities.
Special depreciation options for reconstruction
This allows expenses on a larger scale to be taken into account immediately to reduce taxes.
Special regulations for agriculture and forestry and income from renting and leasing
Farmers and landlords can take advantage of additional support measures.
Possibility to waive property tax
Interesting for all house and apartment owners.
Expenses for existentially necessary items (apartment, household goods, clothing) as extraordinary burdens
How are donations eligible?
The obligation to provide proof of donations has now been simplified. In addition, donation campaigns can also be organized by non-profit corporations that, according to their articles of association, do not promote charitable purposes, for example, or are regionally bound.
Furthermore, so-called donations from wages and salaries are possible. In this case, an employee waives payment of part of his or her salary. The employer pays this amount into a donation account of an institution entitled to receive donations. The donated portion of the salary is then not taken into account as wages. No payroll tax or social security must be paid. “However, the employer must fulfill and document the use requirement. Important: The donated salary must be recorded in the payroll account,” says tax consultant Thomas Loibl.
Tip: Even expenses for existentially necessary items (apartment, household goods, clothing) can be taken into account for tax purposes. In exceptional cases, these can be deducted as extraordinary expenses.
Complemented by many years of experience in medical technology and diagnostic language services
Language industry research firms CSA Research, Nimdzi and Slator have named Welocalize one of the world’s largest Language Service Providers (LSPs). The company now announces the acquisition of Next Level Globalization(NLG), the third largest LSP in Germany.
Its clients specialize in medical technology, diagnostics, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. The acquisition doubles Welocalize’s portfolio of leading global life sciences brands. The company has extensive expertise in providing language services to highly regulated companies. These services include medical translation and in-country reviews, as well as regulatory consulting for software localization. The merger will significantly expand Welocalize’s presence in Europe, the central hub of the life sciences industry. As a result, the company further increases its customer accessibility.
“We are very pleased to add NLG to the family. We were impressed by their focus on customer relations and offering efficient language programs. Through our combined competencies, we can help clients achieve added value, a compelling customer experience, and higher performance measured against their respective business objectives. Together, we continue to transform life sciences language services.”
– Devin Lynch, Vice President of Global Customer Success
Working together to deliver translation projects at a rapid pace
Over the past 18 months, the life sciences industry has been under tremendous and unprecedented pressure to accelerate the design of communications and the global transmission of information. Going forward, the two companies will work together with their customers to provide a better customer experience, high-quality language services and proprietary technologies for in-country reviews and project submission through intelligent workflow solutions.
“We are excited to join forces with such an innovative and customer-centric company that strives to further develop our highly customized solutions for the brands we work with,” said Michael Oettli, founder and CEO. “Our experienced team understands the demanding medical device and diagnostics industry and provides personalized services to our long-standing clients,” adds Nicole Sheehan, Vice President of Customer Success for Regulated Services at Welocalize. “The two groups share the same passion for excellence and innovation and are supported by global teams that ensure we put the customer experience at the center of everything we do. By bringing together our people, operations and technology, we can better position ourselves to enable our customers to achieve their business goals and accelerate global growth.”
Expanding portfolio in a regulated industry
The acquisition of NLG is Welocalize’s 19th acquisition and its 4th acquisition in a regulated industry, following the acquisitions of Park IP Translations in 2012 and those of Nova Language Services and Global Language Solutions in 2016. In terms of its combined client portfolio, Welocalize benefits from a range of complementary services, including IP and legal translation and ISO-certified machine translation services.