Pricey Molekule Air Purifier Cleans Indoor Pollutants

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What if you didn't need to step outside or open a window for a breath of fresh air?

Clean-technology firm Molekule today introduced an air purifier that it says breaks down indoor pollutants on—you guessed it—a molecular level.

"Indoor air pollution is a global problem, resulting in deteriorating respiratory and health conditions," Molekule CEO Dilip Goswami said in a statement. The company pointed to EPA stats that say the air you breathe at home can be up to five times more polluted than outside. And since, on average, people spend 90 percent of their time indoors—at the office, in a restaurant, at a movie theater, in bed—you are likely exposed to more harmful pollutants than you realize.

Current technology just doesn't cut it. HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arrestance)—the air filter found in most households and air purifiers—was developed in the 1940s as part of the Manhattan Project. And, according to Goswami, it hasn't evolved much since.

"It's time for a new approach," he added.

Developed at the University of Florida and University of South Florida, Molekule's air purifier disassembles pollutants 1,000 times smaller than what current filters can catch. It then converts them into harmless elements, making them safe to breathe. That includes dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, viruses, bacteria, and gaseous chemicals.

"Since people spend more than 80 percent of their time indoors, it is essential that they breathe healthy air in their homes," April Richards, manager of the EPA's SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) Program, said. "Molekule's technology has the potential to offer an efficient method of purifying indoor air."

A limited first batch of molecular air purifiers are available now to pre-order for a special price of $499 (with one year of filters free). Molekule will regularly retail for $799, and is expected to ship in early 2017.

Based on personal usage and the environment, the device automatically determines when filters need to be replaced; a new set will be mailed to consumers for an annual rate of $99.

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