John Lordi, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer, Buffalo BioBlower, Inc.

The Role of CFD in the Development of an Air Purification Device

A novel device has been developed that destroys the biological threats in an air stream. The device, called the BioBlower, uses compressive heating to kill airborne bacterial spores, bacteria, and viruses. Prototypes have been independently tested by the U.S. Department of Defense and shown to kill >99.9999%, the detection limit in the testing, of the biological hazards. The device is applicable to the military collective protection missions, healthcare facilities and commercial buildings.

The device grew out of a research program at the University at Buffalo and Buffalo BioBlower was formed to commercialize the technology. As the technology was being developed under DOD funding, a NYSTAR Technology Transfer Investment Program grant was awarded to UB to aid the transfer to healthcare. As part of that grant a simulated hospital room was constructed to perform biological experiments in which the room would be contaminated with spores, and then the BioBlower used to remove them. A key part of the design of the experiment was the computation of the airflows in the room. The complex airflow calculations required used the high power computing capability at the UB Center for Computational Research. These computations are a classic illustration of the use of High Power Computing to design experiments so that development costs are reduced. The computational capability not only reduces the number of experiments needed, but also greatly improves the likelihood of success.


John A. Lordi is the CEO of Buffalo BioBlower Technologies LLC; he has extensive technical and management experience in RDT&E. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S./M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1961. He graduated from SUNY/Buffalo in 1968 with a Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering. With the exception of 1983-84, when he was part of the technical staff at M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory, Dr. Lordi has spent his entire professional career at the Calspan Advanced Technology Center (formerly Cornell Aeronautical Lab). His technical expertise is in high-temperature gas dynamics, and he has published numerous papers and reports in this area. From '84-89 he was a technical program manager within Calspan, and from '89-'94 was head of the Physical Sciences Department. From '95-'98 Dr. Lordi was the Executive Director of the Calspan-UB Research Center (CUBRC). Since retiring from Calspan, he has been a Research Professor in the department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at SUNY/Buffalo.

Workshop Program
updated: 2011-10-19