Iceland from above II

Breathe cleaner air

16. 04. 2015

The quality of the atmosphere we breathe is a global issue, since what we breathe affects the healthy development of each individual. And surely all over the world we care about our own health. Substances polluting the atmosphere mostly come from motor vehicle emissions or industrial combustion processes, but they are also present in cigarette smoke, flooring, carpets, clothes, synthetic glues, stains and varnishes, cleaning agents and cosmetics. Such substances are most harmful in closed rooms, such as the workplace, homes and children’s bedrooms.

At present, cleaning the air is largely carried out using relatively costly solutions, such as carbon adsorbent, or by methods that are relatively inefficient, such as using zeolite.

Researchers from the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC) have developed a method for removing the harmful organic pollutants occurring in the atmosphere using a simple detoxification device. The device is a filtration system pumping air through a special solution containing amino acid cysteine, which captures harmful substances selectively and effectively. Air is blown into the device using a pump, and purified by a special solution, which rids it of the hazardous compounds which accumulate in the device and foul the filter. Hazardous organic substances are thus removed from the clean, purified air exiting the device.

The device consists of an electric pump which blows polluted air into the whole system, a replaceable transparent bin containing a solution with the active cleaning agent, a replaceable dust filter for solid particles, and a unique signalling device that communicates the degree of contamination of the filtrating solution.

As part of the long- and short-term testing of the device, the absorption of all the undesirable monitored substances was demonstrated to be effective. However, the greatest degree of absorption occurred with formaldehyde.

The device is protected by:

Source of initial picture: Milan Nykodym from Kutna Hora, Czech Republic (Iceland from above II) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], by Wikimedia Commons

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