A university in Zamboanga del Norte makes disinfection chamber from recycled materials

A university in Zamboanga del Norte makes disinfection chamber from recycled materials
The improvised disinfection chamber is already in use at the Jose Rizal Memorial Hospital

ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, Philippines – Students from Jose Rizal Memorial State University in this province got creative to help solve the shortage of technology needed to fight the coronavirus spreading throughout the Philippines.

The university’s Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab) made a disinfection chamber out of recycled materials 

“We are compelled to improvise because of the strict implementation of community quarantine,” said Engineer Andrew Gallemit, head of Jose Rizal Memorial State University (JRMSU) FabLab. (READ: Zambo Norte placed under province-wide community quarantine)

Gallemit told Rappler he used a diaphragm or fuel pumps from junked car engines, a mist hose used in greenhouse and microwave sensors, and micro-controllers which he sourced from his robotics class.

“The chamber frame is made of unused wood and plastic from the university,” he said.

He explained how it works: “the body heat of a person in the chamber is detected by the microwave sensor, which is transmitted to the micro-controller that switches on the diaphragm or fuel pump and release the disinfectant mist for several seconds.”

JRMSU’s first automated disinfectant chamber was donated to the Jose Rizal Memorial Hospital in Dapitan last April 2, while the second still being made will be donated to the Zamboanga del Norte Medical Center located in nearby Dipolog City.

CHAMBERS. Hospital officials Photo by Gualberto Laput

The Port of Dapitan and several other local government units have called JRMSU administration requesting for automated disinfection chambers.

“Other LGUs are making their own disinfection facility, but they are using pumps used in carwash, which are strong and would wet the person being disinfected,” Gallemit said.

Top university officials and a donor from Dipolog are also contributing money to buy materials as they foresee the mass manufacture of automated disinfection chambers.

“I also received a call from Chicago telling me that Dapitanons now living in Chicago are sending in money to the university for materials,” Gallemit said.

JRMSU has 5 campuses in the province, of which the main campus is located in Dapitan while the rest are in Dipolog City and the municipalities of Katipunan, Tampilisan and Siocon.

It has close to 19,000 students, who were sent home because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. – Rappler.com 

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