Virus elimination and disinfection with the power of UV

The research and development department of B + N Referencia Zrt. works on the development of fast and efficient UV-based disinfection equipment in several fields of application.

The R&D department of B+N Referencia Zrt. is currently working on the development of a train disinfector [1] and a self-propelled UV disinfector, which will take a maximum of 1 minute to kill 99.9 percent of microorganisms. In 2019, the company’s own research and development department already successfully introduced its innovative cleaning robot, called ROBIN , which was invented for the automated cleaning of large areas, thus helping to carry out largely human-intensive work.

The company also started working on the development of two new modern cleaning tools in 2019. Given that one of B + N’s largest customers is MÁV, so in addition to manual cleaning based on human resources, B + N also wants to use faster disinfection solutions to protect people and passengers. The device for UV disinfection of passenger trains has been specially designed to be easily applied to trainsets in the future and to be able to move between passenger seats in such a way that the openable side wings can be safely disinfected between the seats.

The company is also responsible for cleaning and disinfecting a number of hospitals across the country, which are very time and human resource intensive with current procedures, which is why the R&D department has also begun developing a self-propelled UV disinfection device primarily optimized for hospital disinfection.


Of the facility management companies in Hungary, only B + N Referencia Zrt. Has a research and development department, which was established at the end of 2016. There are currently 11 development engineers and 4 technicians working in the field with the aim of making cleaning more efficient by keeping automation as a highly human resource-intensive sector. They are constantly working on ideas and solutions where workflows can be automated using autonomous technologies.


A number of devices and chemicals have been on the market during the recent pandemic, including in many cases fluids of unknown origin, whether harmful, with an inadequate spectrum of action, or not properly tested. Natural resources are pushed into the background in this case, although learning about their mechanism of action would make it clear what opportunities they have.

There are several methods by which surfaces can be disinfected. Manual disinfection is the most common and known to everyone, when the quality and duration of the procedure depends on the disinfectants used and the cleaning staff. Chemical treatment takes place directly on the surfaces, so after cleaning you have to wait for them to dry.

For many today, ozone disinfection is no longer unknown. The advantage of gas disinfection is that the gas reaches everywhere, so the quality of disinfection is uniform. However, this method is also chemical, requiring complete separation of the air in the area to be treated before treatment, and significant technological time after treatment before the room can be used again.


It is a relatively new method and the most humane tool possible is UV disinfection [2] , which has the advantage over the previous two methods that a shorter exposure time is sufficient to achieve the same result, while ensuring uniform disinfection quality and chemical disinfection. At the end of the treatment, the room can be used immediately and no special preparation is required, although the protection of the operating personnel is still necessary in this case. However, because UV material is filtered out by most materials, the effectiveness of the treatment on surfaces that are covered or at a bad angle is minimal. Self-propelled UV devices offer a solution to eliminate this, reduce distance and obscuration, and avoid exposure to direct UV light.

[1] Preliminary calculations of the UV dose required for disinfection of trains were made using SzTAKI.

[2] The range of light from the Sun at a certain wavelength is called ultraviolet (UV) light. There is also a band within this range that is filtered out by the ozone layer, but artificially produced is suitable for killing microorganisms (i.e. viruses, bacteria, fungi). The UV sensitivity of microorganisms is influenced by internal and external factors. Internal properties include the size of the microorganism and the composition of the cell. External factors are humidity, medium, and irradiance wavelength. The most sensitive are bacteria, followed by viruses, followed by fungi. UV disinfection at 65% humidity is most effective at and above UV intensity.

Background information:   B + N Referencia Zrt. Provides technical operation, cleaning and gardening services on more than 5 million square meters, more than 3,000 sites and currently employs more than 5,500 people nationwide. One of the largest FM (facility management) service providers in Hungary.


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