The Michigan Engineer News Center

Herek Clack receives a grant to study the use of non-thermal plasmas to inactivate airborne viruses afflicting livestock

Research Associate Professor Herek L. Clack has been awarded a $65,680 grant from the National Pork Board obtain performance data on the ability of a non-thermal plasma to inactivate the virus that causes porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome.| Short Read

Currently, U.S. pork producers rely on particulate filters installed on hog barn ventilation air intakes to limit the spread of the virus that causes porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRSv). The use of these filters can be a costly solution because they must be replaced periodically and require adequate ventilation fan power. In addition, some barns require retrofitting to establish the necessary air-tight building envelope without increasing the risk of animal heat stress. The use of non-thermal plasma may be a less expensive and reliable method of controlling PRRSv.

  • PRRSv is estimated to cost U.S. pork producers $660M annually.
  • Pork is the #1 food protein in China, which raises 5X as many swine as the U.S. annually.
  • Herek Clack

    Herek Clack

The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read