High-tech Antibacterial Air Purifier
- November 2019
Air quality indoors, where human beings past most of their time, is very different to what it was only a few years ago, with the introduction of new no-smoking policies and the increasing use of air conditioning systems. An efficient air purifier must be able to reduce as far as possible air-spread bacteria and, more importantly, must destroy the bacteria caught in the filters.
Indoors, we must pay special attention to suspended particulate matter (TSP) and nitrogen oxide (NOx), mainly linked to road traffic. Outdoors, we must instead be concerned with volatile organic compounds (VOC), and even more to bacteria (generally present in mass) and viruses.
Politecnico di Milano partnered with several companies on this project to study and produce high-tech filters to reduce the bacterial load in indoor areas. The initiatives carried out as part of the Smart Living call: Integration of service production and technology in the construction-wood-furniture-home supply chain funded by the Lombardy Region.
By working together on this project, Politecnico di Milano, NextMaterials srl and Soliani EMC srl developed and patented innovative photocatalytic antibacterial filters, called FiltriNext, which work in combination with UV light to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination and improve indoor air quality.
A subsequent bibliographical investigation carried out by the Laboratory of Microbiology of the Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta”, Politecnico di Milano, demonstrated that the combined effect of UV light and photocatalysis can deactivate all micro-organisms (bacteria and viruses).
The role of the Foundation
Fondazione Politecnico di Milano collaborated on the project
The project consists of four phases:
Phase 1 – Development of new high-filtration filters
Phase 2 – Design and prototyping for an air recycling system
Phase 3 – Verification of the system’s efficiency with laboratory and field tests
Phase 4 – Industrialisation of air purifier with product innovation
FiltriNext are long-lasting filters with a three-dimensional structure that enables them to catch solid particulate matter and bacteria in particular without clogging up. FiltriNext can be washed up to ten times, including in dishwashers. They can be used in heating and air conditioning units, as well as in existing air ventilation systems, replacing or in combination with traditional HEPA filters; in home fridges and the refrigerators in shops and supermarkets, to improve safety and food conservation; in air purifiers for suitably planned indoor areas; in wardrobes, shoe cupboards and other storage units; in car air purifiers.