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16th January 2019 - back to news index

Freezing out polluting particles

Scientists working on a study of air purification techniques have discovered a new way of purifying indoor air. The method is called "cryogenic condensation", and it works by freezing the gases and particles which pollute our air. This makes the particles stick together, so they become heavier and fall to the bottom of the cryogenic condenser, which is basically a freezing cold tube. The research is being done by an international team including the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Trent University, Nottingham, led by Professor Gang Pan.

China and the UK are among the countries where air quality needs significant improvement. Beijing is one of many cities with a serious air pollution problem, and the UK urgently needs to address problems caused by Nitrogen Dioxide, which creates photochemical smog and acid rain. This results from burning fossil fuels, especially in diesel engines. The UK has been breaching EU limits on NO2 emissions since 2010, and now has the second highest number of deaths from respiratory illnesses caused by NO2 in Europe. Research has shown that London's Marylebone Road is the worst individual area in the region.

The recent research by Professor Gang Pan's team shows that 98% of NO2 can be removed by this new method, leaving indoor air healthier. The advantage to health is obvious and the main challenge is to modify the system to use less, and cleaner, energy. Given the wide range of diseases caused by breathing polluted air, this can only be good news.

Reduction of polluting air particles could be achieved by the modification of air conditioning units. If you'd like to find out more, please get in touch.

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