Intertek operates labs all over the world and is a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) by OSHA in the US. They test consumer products to be sure they’re safe electrically, physically, toxicologically, or by any other measure. Molekule sends its air purifiers to Intertek not only for required consumer safety testing, but also to gather performance data for our customers. Three rounds of Molekule Air Pro testing are available on our papers page: basic ozone testing, VOC destruction, and capture of particulate matter.
All three of these tests follow standards set forth by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which dictates very specific requirements for air quality testing. Scientific consensus by ISO has determined the size of the testing chamber, its configuration, how the air is sampled, and many other factors to ensure that all test results are comparable to all others. The VOC and particulate matter tests were done in a 30 cubic meter chamber, which is about the size of a small bedroom. The ozone test, per the standard, was done in a 28.5 cubic meter chamber. All tests were run with Air Pro on the highest speed for 8 hours.
Destruction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a hallmark of PECO technology. PECO is designed to attack VOCs like benzene and formaldehyde and convert them into carbon dioxide and water vapor, which are natural components of the air. Though the testing follows set standards, there is not an accepted set of VOCs that are known to pollute the home. As with our other VOC tests with Intertek, Molekule chose a cocktail of three VOCs to represent common indoor air contaminants.
- Formaldehyde was selected because it is known to evaporate from building materials, mattresses, clothing, furniture, and many other synthetic products brought into the home. It is a suspected carcinogen.
- Toluene is a solvent usually used in paints and lacquers. It’s a common indoor contaminant and closely related to the pollutants xylene and benzene that are components of gasoline. It has negative neurological effects at even low doses.
- D-limonene is the smell of citrus plants and is a common component in cleaning products and is not particularly toxic in itself. However, like all VOCs it can react in the air to produce more dangerous substances such as ultrafine particles.
Molekule Air Pro performance on VOCs
Intertek follows the standards set forth by the air purification industry and informed by scientific consensus. Molekule Air Pro was placed in a clean steel chamber where the VOC contaminants could be injected from outside. It also contains a mixing fan to help ensure that the single injection of VOCs at the beginning of the experiment is evenly distributed throughout the chamber so any reduction is a result of the purifier and not settling to the ground. The whole VOC capture report from Intertek is available here.
Less than half (48%) of the formaldehyde remained after 1 hour. After 8 hours, more than 80% of the introduced formaldehyde had been removed.
Only 4% remained after 1 hour, and toluene concentrations reached undetectable levels between 2 and 3 hours.
Limonene was removed the most quickly of the three challenge VOCs. There was only 2% left at one hour and none detectable at 2 hours.
For the particle capture test, the team at Intertek tested Air Pro using the time-tested standard AHAM/ ANSI AC-1-2015, which is informed by scientific consensus and generally agreed upon by the air purifier industry. These standards dictate how to set up a testing chamber for this kind of work so consumers know that the results can be compared.
Air Pro was tested on smoke, dust, and pollen. Each particulate contaminant was aersolized a single time at the start of the experiment. The smoke was generated with the special cigarette smoking machine approved for these types of tests that emits a controlled stream of tobacco smoke in a controlled and reproducible way. The dust used is known as “AC fine test dust”, which is a specially prepared dust with individual granules rich in sizes between 1 and 10 microns. For pollen, the team went with pollen from the paper mulberry tree, which is a well-characterized and widely available pollen for just such a use.
Molekule Air Pro performance on particles
The particle testing chamber looks a little different than the stainless steel VOC testing chamber but is still the industry testing standard. Air Pro might look lonely in there but many purifiers have come before it to be tested. The equipment behind Air Pro is there to sensitively test the air for the presence of any particles. You can read the whole report from Intertek here.
Smoke was no match for Air Pro. After just 10 minutes 92% of the smoke was gone, and 99% gone by 20 minutes.
The test dust was also sucked up quickly, with 94% captured at the 10-minute mark. By the conclusion of the test at 20 minutes, the dust had been removed by more than 99%.
Air Pro removes pollen, as well, with 86% removal in just 5 minutes and 98% removal in 10 minutes.
Like all of Molekule’s other products, Air Pro removes pollutants from the air. We’re always doing more research on our devices, so stay tuned to this blog to see when the latest numbers are available.