Many years ago, astronauts aboard the International Space Station asked for a way to eliminate the ethylene gas produced by the plants on the station. NASA engineers went to work and came up with an air purification technology that could be used on the space station and now it's been made available for home use too.
Called Airocide, this technology "clears the air of virtually 100% of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) – the harmful gasses emitted by products you have around your home, like aerosol sprays, cleaning supplies, disinfectants, hobby supplies, dry-cleaned clothing, building materials, paints and paint thinners, strippers, pesticides and even air fresheners. This FDA approved device also completely eliminates all mold, pollen, fungi, viruses and bacteria (all major causes of allergy symptoms) that enter the chamber," according to the Airocide website.
Now that we know that climate change is causing an increase in allergy symptoms, having something that can be used to keep us feeling well inside our homes will be important.
The technology has actually been used in places we've been visiting for quite some time now. Because ethylene gas causes accelerated ripening, supermarkets, florists and food packers have been using the technology since 1998, and in 2003, Airocide was introduced to hospitals, medical offices and daycare centers to prevent the spread of airborne disease.
What's especially nice is that this technology works without employing any chemicals or releasing any harmful gases itself.
Gizmag reports, "Each Airocide unit incorporates a reaction chamber that contains thousands of tiny glass rings coated inside and out with titanium dioxide (TiO2). With the help of a high-intensity light, the TiO2 produces hydroxyls. When airborne organic molecules are drawn in and make contact with those hydroxyls, the carbon bonds in those molecules are broken."
This process renders any organic compound inert. The hydroxyls cannot escape the chamber and no cleaning is needed, though the chamber does have to be replaced every year. The Airocide is currently priced at $799 and replacement chambers go for $99.