For decades now, there has been very little innovation in the air purification game—when it comes to the way pollutants are trapped and the filters store it all. After 20 years of research and development, and funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Small Business Innovative Research Program, the brand new air purifier known as the Molekule features patented technology (four patents, in fact, with a fifth underway) that does more than trap contamination—it destroys it. This LED-powered Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) process activates an internal filter and breaks down pollutants on a molecular level. Of the allergens it eliminates are bacteria, viruses, mold and VOCs, all through a chemical reaction. This doesn’t mean filters last forever, however, but must be replaced a few times each year to make sure that reactions continue to occur.
From a design standpoint, Molekule’s cylinder form allows for placement anywhere within a room. Further, it pulls air from a 360-degree radius. The fan within can clean and recirculate 600 square feet of a room in 60 minutes and the device is also touchscreen-activated, and can be set into three different modes. It’s also WiFi connected and an accompanying iOS app offers control remotely, and also alerts users when filters need replacing. For those looking to tote it from room to room, or even from one corner to another, there’s a premium leather strap affixed to the top. (Through case studies, the Molekule team learned that most users did shift it with frequency, allowing for purification of multiple spaces.)
Dr Yogi Goswami, an expert in solar technology and a co-founder of Molekule, first developed the science behind this all for water purification systems. Since, he has spent time working to bring it to air. When demoing the product we met with Molekule’s other co-founders Jaya Rao and Dilip Goswami—the children of Dr Goswami. “I’ve had asthma for many years. My father, who invented this technology for water, knew there was a way to use this for air. Eventually, he was able to make it something that effectively cleans the air. We use light from LEDs and nano-coding that breaks down everything from allergens to chemicals,” Dilip Goswami explains. This is the first application of this technology anywhere. “Of course the science and technology grounds this product, but the design behind it was fundamental, as well. Even the air exits, these vent rings, the curved style allows for projection in all directions.” This means that from suction to expulsion, the maximum amount of area is covered.
A limited number of Molekule Air Purifiers are available for pre-order at the reduced price of $500. This includes a year’s worth of filters. After pre-order stock is gone, the Molekule will retail for $800. Delivery is expected in early 2017.
Images courtesy of Molekule