Third-Party Confirms Molekule Air Purifier Destroys VOCs

Intertek, a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), recently found that the Molekule Home One was capable of completely degrading a challenge set of common household pollutants.

The Molekule Home One device in Intertek’s testing chamber.

“A representative sample testing revealed Molekule’s Home One air filtration system reduced the concentration of these three common household contaminates over 24 hours,” says Dr. Jesse Ondersma, Technical Lead for Intertek’s volatile organic compounds (VOC) testing. The Photoelectrochemical Oxidation (PECO) technology used in the air purifier effectively eliminated the contaminants within a few hours when placed in a sealed room about eight cubic meters in volume. The Molekule Home One is the first device produced by Molekule that uses the proprietary PECO filter to render harmful substances in the air into trace amounts of safe atmospheric components like carbon dioxide and water.

Graph of Molekule air purifier destruction of formaldehyde

Graph 1: Concentration of formaldehyde over time in a room with a Molekule Home One running. Dotted line represents the minimum quantification level of the instruments used.

Each compound chosen represents a family of organic molecules and were selected for their similarity to common pollutants in the indoor environment. Formaldehyde is an aldehyde, a very common group of chemicals to which humans are regularly exposed. It is a well-known household pollutant and has been known to evaporate from building materials, furniture, and other common items. Toluene is closely related to benzene and xylene, common and dangerous carcinogens often used in paints, leather, adhesives, furniture lacquers, and disinfectants. D-limonene is a terpene produced by citrus plants and is not toxic in itself but is representative of components of perfumes and other substances that can cause allergies and exacerbate asthma. You can read Intertek’s official report here.

Graph 2: Concentration of toluene over time in a room with a Molekule Home One running. Dotted line represents the minimum quantification level of the instruments used.

Although Molekule is a scant three years old, the science behind PECO technology has been in development for over twenty years by one of the founders, Dr. Yogi Goswami, a distinguished professor at the University of South Florida. Dr. Goswami is renowned for his work in the solar energy industry, and has pivoted that work into the materials science necessary to design the PECO-Filter. In the past few years Dr. Goswami and his team have been testing and perfecting the technology to destroy pollutants in the air and render them into components of the atmosphere that can be safely inhaled every day. These results by Intertek confirm that not only are the principles sound, but have been effectively scaled into a commercial device for practical uses.  “We always knew the science worked, and we’re so glad to see our product continues to live up to the research that spawned it,” says Co-founder Jaya Rao. “We think any science-based company should produce products that are in line with their claims.”

Graph 2: Concentration of D-limonene over time in a room with a Molekule Home One running. Dotted line represents the minimum quantification level of the instruments used.

Compared to traditional filters, the Home One is delivering results that are unprecedented. The standard carbon filters often used for VOC removal may have drawbacks such as re-releasing pollutants back into the room they are supposed to be purifying. Molekule’s technology continues to evolve, and they supply their many existing customers with new filters that employ the most cutting-edge processes from their R&D team on a regular basis.

Written by

Haldane King is a molecular biologist by education, a statistician by training, and a researcher by nature. He spent 15 years in the market research world helping to grow all types of companies from pharmaceuticals to software to insurance. Haldane has researched the world of air quality, air pollution, and air purifiers at Molekule and now proudly attends to the Molekule blog.