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Integrated Catalytic Disinfectant Membrane and Sensor System for Maintaining High Indoor Air Quality

Technology Overview

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is determined mainly by the levels of indoor airborne contaminants such as volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and thermal environmental conditions. There has been numerous studies highlighting that poor IAQ causes ill health such as ‘sick  building syndrome’ (SBS)  and  other ’building-related’ illnesses like sinusitis, asthma, dermatitis, Legionnnaire’s disease, etc. The business cost associated with sick building syndrome has been reported by the US EPA to cost organisations in the region of $60Bn annually. This is mainly due to drop in work efficiency, staff absenteeism, medical insurance etc. There has been many solutions put forth to address IAQ.  Many of these solutions involved use of filter membranes. Like all mechanical filters, membranes need to be monitored to ensure that it is performing in accordance to specifications. Additionally, most membranes available do  not have disinfecting capability. Hence, there is a need for low cost integrated detection, disinfection and filtration system to assure a good quality of air is being delivered to homes, public places and offices, where people spend a large portion of their time.

This technology relates to a new hybrid (organic and inorganic) membrane with an integrated sensory, filtration and catalytic disinfection for improving indoor air quality. Besides having a membrane that is integrated with a sensor, unique features of this technology include enhanced functionalities like disinfection of incoming air and self-cleaning of membrane.

Technology Features & Specifications

  • Low cost
  • Easily fitted into new and existing HVAC systems
  • Operates at room temperature

Potential Applications

This technology could be used for the following applications:

  • Air quality assessment and sensing
  • Air filtration and photo-degradation

 

Market Trends and Opportunities

The market for industrial air filter has been forecast to be US$690m in 2011 and will grow to US$740m in 2014. The global market for filter membrane has been forecast to be in the region of $12.6Bn (2015). This is based on an annual growth rate of 7%. The key market segments driving the sales is likely to be from the aftermarket segment. 

Customer Benefits

  • Integrated sensing functionalities
  • Assessment of air quality by indicating level of volatile organic compounds (VOC).
  • Ability to degrade VOCs in situ and is self- cleaning 
  • Low maintenance
  • Reduced hydraulic flow resistance and membrane fouling

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