Hong Kong pioneers new air purification technology
A new air purification technology – which can dramatically improve in-door air quality – has been developed in Hong Kong by a senior engineering lecturer at City University.
Dr Oscar Hui Kwan-san said in a press release on Thursday that the latest purification technology was a major step towards developing a new generation of home-use air cleaners.
Hui, who helped develop the new technology, said it transformed dangerous air pollutants into “harmless substances”.
It was different to other air purifiers because they still absorbed harmful materials in the atmosphere, Hui explained. The new technology was more efficient and environmentally friendly.
Hui said his research team had recently received HK$1 million from the government’s backed innovation and technology fund. It obtained another HK$200,000 from private firms to develop a prototype air purifier.
He said the new technology could remove 92 per cent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the atmosphere. These account for the majority of the in-door air pollutants.
VOCs consist of over 100 different compounds. Some can cause long-term health defects in people, including cancer and damage to the nervous system, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Hui said an air purifier built with the new technology would transform 65 per cent of harmful particles into water and carbon dioxide. It would absorb the rest of these particles via its filter.
“Decomposition is preferred to adsorption because the adsorbents in the filter have limited capacities. If not properly maintained, the adsorbents may even release VOCs back into the environment,” he explained.
VOCS can be released into the atmosphere from construction materials, carpets, furniture, laser printers, copiers, as well as chemical products such as cleaning products, adhesives and paint.