Tech Bundle

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality (IAQ) maintenance has been a perennial topic in our urban society. With the COVID-19 pandemic compounding the need to improve the quality of air in our living and working spaces, there are opportunities for technological innovations to overcome this multi-faceted challenge. The Indoor Air Quality Tech Bundle features a curated list of technologies that enterprises can license or co-innovate with technology providers to create new products and services for the growing IAQ market. Enterprises can explore a range of solutions for reducing indoor air pollution, enhancing ventilation and air cleaning, controlling indoor temperature and humidity, as well as monitoring and testing, to address various needs along the IAQ value chain.

Dehumidification using High-Performance PAN-based Composite Hollow Fiber Membrane
This invention relates to a polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based membrane suitable for dehumidification and oxygen enrichment, with a proprietary PDMS selective layer. The substrate material is PAN, which is a low cost and commonly available polymer for membrane fabrication. The membrane is made by coating the substrate with the selective layer. The membrane may also be suitable for gas separation, air separation, paraffin-olefin separation, oxygen enrichment, CO2 capture, hydrocarbon recovery, and volatile organic compounds separation.
Reactive Oxygen Generating Additive For Antimicrobial Protection And Air Purification
This technology is derived from photodynamic therapy and uses a photosensitizer molecule as the active agent for long-lasting, anti-microbial effect and air purification. This photosensitizer relies on the activation by light irradiation to produce active oxygen and reactive oxygen species (ROS) which can kill bacteria, viruses, fungi and mold, as well as disintegrate volatile organic compounds (e.g. formaldehyde) on contact.   The molecule is a conjugated compound based on an extraction from plant-based polylysine and an edible mineral. This technology disrupts the traditional use of toxic chemicals to kill microbes by replacing it with a safer, reactive oxygen generating catalytic molecule. It is effective against microbe contamination, minimising transmission of diseases. The technology has been formulated into various applications such as paints, textiles, hygiene products and polymeric films to name a few.
Dilution Air Processing Unit for Reduced Transmission of Airborne Infectious Diseases
The Dilution Air Processing Unit (DAPU) is an ideal solution for small and medium businesses to prepare themselves for the Covid-19 new normal by employing an enhanced air ventilation technique. The DAPU system allows the creation of zones (e.g. sickbays, waiting rooms, etc.) within workplaces with no recirculation of air. This prevents cross-contamination of unclean air in between the zones. This solution is suitable for hotels and other premises to be used for quarantine purposes. The DAPU consists of the following key features: Provides 100% fresh air supply with no recirculation Reduces airborne particles exposure by greater than 60% Achieves 25% energy efficiency in providing 100% fresh air supply as compared to conventional systems Uses fully portable modular approach Can be easily retrofitted to any existing air-conditioning system resulting in lower implementation cost The DAPU can also be deployed in any area without an existing air-conditioning system making it highly versatile.
Anti-viral Materials Containing Copper (I) Oxide and Visible-light Photocatalyst
Transmission of viruses may occur through contaminated surfaces, where viruses can remain active for varying periods of time, from hours to several days, on different materials. To lower the possibility of spread of infections through contact with high-touch surfaces such as elevator buttons, grocery carts and door knobs, antimicrobial materials such as silver and copper ions are currently utilised. However, these solutions face challenges such as low durability and longer time needed to inactivate viruses. To overcome these challenges, durable anti-viral materials containing Copper (I) Oxide (Cu2O) and visible-light photocatalyst are developed. These materials are demonstrated to be able to inactivate >99% of viruses within an hour, even in environments without light. Using patented dispersion techniques, the active Cu2O and visible-light photocatalyst materials remain as stable, nano-sized particles on the outermost surfaces of products that incorporate them. This provides a large reaction surface area for high performance and durable anti-viral property.
World’s Smallest Flow Sensor for Integration into Smart Systems
A European start-up company has developed the world's smallest gas flow sensor. The tiny 3.5 mm x 3.5 mm CMOS MEMS sensor is small enough to fit into virtually any product and can be positioned where measurements matter. Examples of use cases include: active filter monitoring in vacuum cleaners, air-conditioning units and other consumer appliances; pipe blockage detection in industrial and domestic gas-detection products and systems; air pump monitoring and control in both consumer and industrial applications; and portable healthcare equipment such as smart inhalers and fitness monitoring masks. Collaboration is sought with developers and manufacturers of smart home devices, building systems, wearables etc. Evaluation kits with fluidics fixtures are available for fast testing and application development.
Plasma Generator for Air Sanitisation
The technology developed herein is related to an plasma generator which generates reactive oxygen species to eliminate bacteria, viruses, harmful gases and odourous substances. Indoor environments, such as hospital rooms or livestock pens, can greatly benefit from the improved air quality to reduce the harm of diseases and pollution. Air sterilisers developed using the plasma generator can safely and effectively remove: Harmful gases such as ammonia, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetic acid, toluene and volatile organic compounds Suspended bacteria that stick to dust or water vapour Viruses including influenza viruses (H2N2) and other toxic ultrafine infectious particles The technology has been applied in livestock farms to eliminate odours as well as maintaining the freshness of fresh produce. The technology provider is interested to seek collaborators who are keen to develop new applications for the plasma generator. The mode of collaboration could be licensing or joint research agreements. 
A Scalable and Adaptive Model-Predictive Distributed Control of Building HVAC Systems
This technology offers a novel model-predictive distributed control method and a flexible and cost effective IoT implementation architecture for energy saving in building HVAC systems. It is scalable and real-time optimally responsive to changes in a large building that has more than 500 zones via a patented token-based HVAC scheduling strategy. The larger the building, the higher the energy saving potential, due to its novel coordinated HVAC scheduling approach. It is autonomously adaptive to the building operational environment via effective system identification techniques, including machine learning techniques, on real-time data attainable from the proposed IoT infrastructure. It is also occupant-centric, i.e., capable of learning and addressing individual human comfort requirements. The technology is applicable to any new or old VAV (or VRV) HVAC system without any need of major retrofitting on existing HVAC controllers and data acquisition systems, due to its highly flexible plug-and-play implementation architecture. It can also be used to convert an old HVAC system into a highly automated and intelligent one, allowing a building owner to check remotely, via commonly used mobile devices, the status of the building HVAC system and initiate supervisory control for better performance, thus, can enhance the effectiveness of existing BMS and building automation. The technology provider is seeking for industry partners to commercialise the technology.          
Self-assembled Nanofibrous Air Filter
Air pollution poses serious health threats. Even limited exposure to air pollutants, such as during haze periods, can trigger respiratory symptoms and aggravate existing heart or lung conditions. While there is a strong need for economical and effective technologies for air filtration, most nanofibres currently used in air filters require intensive energy and specialised equipment to produce. The research team has developed a novel nanofibre solution for clean and fresh air. The novel nanofibre solution is applied to non-woven mesh to create thin, see-through air filters that can remove up to 90% of PM2.5 particles and achieve a high air flow that is 2.5 times better than conventional air filters. This nanofibre solutions is easy and quick to produce, offering a cost-effective alternative to currently available air filter solutions.
Acoustic-Aided Air Filter for Enhanced Filtration and Reduced Energy Consumption
Typically, buildings with centralised air-conditioning have one or more air filters in each of the air handling units. While air filtration plays an important role to improve indoor air quality, it requires a significant amount of energy consumption to achieve high filtration efficiency, which is the extent to which filters remove airborne particles. In a conventional air filter, energy consumption can account for up to 80% of the total lifecycle cost of operating the filter. Air filters generally remove smaller airborne particles with a lower level of filtration efficiency, and densely packed filter media is typically used to remove these very fine particles, which results in a high pressure drop across the filter. Air filters with densely packed fibre material, such as the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, are both costly and energy intensive. While efforts have been made to refine the structure of air filters to reduce the pressure drop, the physical limits of fluid mechanics means that there is a need for a technology that facilitates a further reduction of the pressure drop, especially in high efficiency air filters. This patented technology greatly enhances the air filter performance while reducing the energy consumption of the filtration process. It utilises acoustic energy to induce the rapid vibration of the particles in the air, which can enhance the filtration efficiency of an air filter from 70% to 90%.