The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent to the University of Washington (UW) for a new form of high-capacity, energy-efficient air filtration, developed at the UW Sensors, Energy and Automation Laboratory.
The design, in which particle-repelling plates are paired with disposable, foam-encased, particle-collecting plates, can be used in air purification and HVAC design applications for commercial and consumer markets. The technology covered in U.S. Patent No. 10,668,483 was developed under the direction of Igor Krichtafovitch, Ph.D, an expert in electrostatics and particle pollution reduction. Dr. Krichtafovitch is the director of research and development at Agentis Air LLC, the exclusive worldwide licensee of the technology
Indoor air quality has long been linked to a growing number of life-shortening diseases including respiratory ailments, heart disease and dementia. With recent public health concerns, the ability of Advanced Particle Removal Technology (APART)-enabled air purification devices and systems to remove virus particles underscores the importance of this technology.
APART has several advantages over existing filter-media technologies (such as HEPA filtration), notably the ability to substantially reduce backpressure and energy use. Unlike mechanical HEPA-style filtration, there is no filter to clog, so airflow is improved for lower energy use, lower cost and quieter operation. The APART collection media has a longer life, as well.
APART is also the first filtration system capable of smart control, offering the ability to increase or decrease system filtration levels and energy use on demand. This smart-control feature is designed to take advantage of advances in internet of technology and sensor technology so filtration can be monitored and adjusted in real time.
The patented technology overcomes the limitations of traditional electrostatic precipitator (ESP) systems: APART eliminates manual cleaning, making it a commercially scalable, low labor-cost solution. Increased surface area improves effectiveness over traditional ESP, as does increased load capacity. The technology also reduces particle re-entry into the air and filters ozone.
Potential applications include portable air purifiers, commercial HVAC systems, air exchangers and dynamic air-filtration systems using sophisticated, building-control sensor data.