Indoor air pollution is bad — usually much worse than outdoor air. Current air filtering and purifying technology, however, hasn’t changed since the 1940s. Today’s filters trap and hold particles in place, where they can multiply and go back into indoor spaces. A smart room air purification technology from Molekule due on the market early next year breaks down pollutant particles into harmless elements using light-activated nanotechnology.
The Environmental Protection Agency is serious about the quality of the air in our homes and inside spaces. “For over a decade, the EPA has recognized that indoor air is often five times — and in some cases, even 100 times — more polluted than the air outside,” said April Richards, the EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program manager. “Since people spend more than 80 percent of their time indoors, it is essential that they breathe healthy air in homes and other enclosed spaces.”
The SBIR was the source of Molekule’s initial funding. Now, however, with proof of concept, the company has received an additional $3.5 million in private funding and is gearing up for production and product launch in early 2017.
The Molekule air purifier is a portable unit that can clean the air in a 600-square-foot room in 60 minutes. It has a nanoparticle-coated filter, which when activated by light produces a chemical reaction on the filter surface, breaks down allergens, bacteria, viruses, mold, and other pollutants and renders them harmless. The unit can be controlled via Wi-Fi and managed via an iOS app, including notifications to replace filters when needed.
The Molekule is available for pre-order for $500, including a year’s worth of filters. The company says the retail price at launch will be $800. A year’s subscription of filters will cost $100, and replacements will be automatically shipped when the unit signals it needs one.
If the Molekule air purifier performs as promised — to not only filter pollution but destroy it as well — it could make a very valuable addition for any home.