Microbiological purification

Micro-biological clean-up of ventilation systems using plant extracts

European studies on indoor air quality (Indoor Air Quality Audit and AIRLESS )have shown that air handling units are often a source of air pollution. Part of this pollution is due to airborne microbes and a micro-organism flora that grows and lives inside the installation. The aim of this project was to cut down this pollution level by applying essential oils, selected for their anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties and good human tolerance. Two essential oils were selected (among about 60) for their exceptional bacteriostatic and bactericide effect on the staphylococcus aureus et pseudomonas aeruginosa. The aim of this project was investigate the possibility of cleaning up air handling units in hospitals and to study the effect of these natural products on the well-being of the occupants.

bacteria cultureEffect of an essential oil on microbes present in air handling units. A disc of paper impregnated with 0,2 micro-litres of rosewood extract was placed in the cover of the top box. The inhibiting effect of this oil is obvious.

TELEMATIN SANTE on France 2 dedicated one of its programs to the research performed by Marie-Cécile Pibiri, on 29.05.06.

Project manager: Claude-Alain Roulet
PhD student: Marie-Cécile Pibiri
External participant: C. Seignez, Laboratoire de Biotechnologie Environnementale EPFL

Related PhD Thesis:

Assainissement microbiologique de l’air et des systèmes de ventilation au moyen d’huiles essentielles / Pibiri, Marie-Cécile; Roulet, Claude-Alain (dir.). Ph.D. Thesis. – Lausanne : EPFL, 2005