Central regions | Energy, utilities | Technology & innovation

New air purification approach comes from MSU

30 Sep '16
Researchers at the Moscow Lomonosov State University (MSU) have developed an innovative air cleaning technology. To combat carbon oxide and many toxic substances in the atmosphere they’ve harnessed the untapped properties of nanomaterials and the sunlight.

According to Prof. Elizaveta Konstantinova, the project leader and head of MSU’s radiospectroscopy lab, the new technology may find wide air cleaning applications in public health and education facilities, at homes, and in industry. Filters the scientists have made using the technology are said to accumulate no toxic substances. Impacted by titanium dioxide nanoparticles and the sunlight in the process of photocatalysis, the toxins are reported to be fully decomposed down to innocuous elements like water and carbon dioxide.

As the researchers said, one of the goals they were pursuing in developing the new cleaning technique was to retire the traditional UV lamp used for disinfection/decontamination. UV radiation is harmful to the human body, and to make these lamps inert gas and mercury vapor are used, which is expensive and also detrimental to the environment.

The new tech has got a Russian patent. Ms. Konstantinova reckons that industrial filters using this innovative combination of titanium dioxide nanoparticles and the sunlight could be effective on 80% of the surface of the Earth, from the equator to Central Russia latitudes.

“It would be ideal to add a solar panel to our reagent chamber to enable solar energy storage and stable operation in any illumination level. In rooms where there’s little sunlight, electric lamps could be used. All this would make the new air decontamination method much less expensive and therefore much more affordable than it appears today,” Prof. Konstantinova said.