Low-Cost, Regenerable Air Filter for Efficient Gaseous Pollutants Removal

EPA Contract Number: EPD16006
Title: Low-Cost, Regenerable Air Filter for Efficient Gaseous Pollutants Removal
Investigators: Junaedi, Christian
Small Business: Precision Combustion, Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: II
Project Period: February 1, 2016 through January 31, 2018 (Extended to January 31, 2019)
Project Amount: $299,972
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (2015) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , Air Quality and Air Toxics , SBIR - Air Pollution Monitoring and Control


Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) is developing a regenerable high efficiency filter technology for direct removal of gaseous pollutants such as VOCs and CO2 from indoor air. In addition to controllably improving indoor air quality (IAQ), the direct removal of these pollutants will reduce the requirement for building ventilation with outdoor make-up air currently used to dilute the concentration of indoor contaminants. This will enable significant energy cost savings and reduce global warming load as significantly less temperature and humidity-controlled outdoor make-up air will be required.

This innovative air filter technology combines PCI’s novel Microlith® support elements with sorbent nanomaterials that can be tailored to capture and later desorb a variety of targeted gaseous pollutants. Adapting and improving upon space station cabin atmosphere revitalization technology, Microlith® adsorbers are smaller, lighter and use less power than existing technologies such as pellets and monoliths. The technology also offers the benefits of low pressure drop, rapid in-situ regeneration, high filter media utilization, longer filter service life, design modularity, and sorbent media flexibility. These features support a system offering reliably high indoor air quality at a lower lifecycle cost than is achieved with disposable filter-based systems, and in a form factor suitable for plug and play installation within building HVAC systems.

In Phase I, a bench-scale, proof-of-concept air filter media was developed and examined, and operating conditions were identified and optimized. We demonstrate the ability to effectively remove a wide spectrum of gaseous pollutants and chemical contaminants, including typical indoor VOCs and CO2. The filter was thermally stable and maintained >90% adsorption activity following exposures to contaminants in ambient air for repeated adsorption-desorption cycles. Regeneration can use a direct resistive approach, resulting in a quick and low power regeneration. Low pressure drop across the filter was demonstrated. During Phase II, PCI will further develop and advance the air filter technology targeting specific building applications and developing appropriate system prototypes for field demonstration. This includes air filterscale-up design, sizing, and manufacturing per targeted building requirements. In completing Phase II, PCI will produce multiple air filter system prototypes for evaluation at independent facilities or customer sites. Target early entry markets include buildings and facilities where air quality is a concern, filter replacements create a maintenance burden, and large volumes of makeup-air results in energy inefficiency. The approach offers a cost-saving route to improve indoor air quality in industrial and commercial buildings, and potentially in homes.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final

  • SBIR Phase I:

    Low-Cost, Regenerable Air Filter for Efficient Gaseous Pollutants Removal  | Final Report