Revolutionary air purifier protects Aarhus noses – University of Copenhagen

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From research to award-winning company


Matthew S. JohnsonArea:
Atmospheric Chemistry (Department of Chemistry)

Researcher:
Matthew S. Johnson

Partner:
INFUSER A/S

Result:
The air cleaning method, GPAO, from UCPH and Infuser won the Copenhagen Business Award 2016 in the innovation category.

The Story:
The Cleantech company INFUSER won the Copenhagen Business Award 2016 in the innovation category. Morten Kabell, Mayor of Technical and Environmental Affairs, said in his speech:

- INFUSER has managed to translate basic research into jobs and tax revenues in Copenhagen, which proves that basic research can be translated into a good business. INFUSER have created a product that is able to clean the air in not just Copenhagen, but in the entire world, and therefore has a huge export potential.

In the space of a few years, INFUSER has attracted over DKK 70 million in international investments, and opened offices in several countries. They have in just 4 years managed to go from 0 to 27 employees. In January 2016, their product range was extended with INFUSER Indoors, which is air purification for residential and office buildings. Subsequently, the company's products was presented in March at the Danish embassy in Beijing.

Started with the smell
The story of Infuser started with the Aarhus-based company Jysk Miljørens. The company was bombarded with complaints about unpleasant smells. To appease its neighbours and eradicate the pollution problems, the company entered a partnership with the University of Copenhagen about a newly developed air-purification method.

The technology is based on the atmosphere's natural ability to cleanse itself via the polluting gases’ capacity to form particles when they encounter naturally occurring substances, such as ozone. The chemical reaction is triggered by sunlight, and the newly formed particles are then washed out of the atmosphere by rain.



- The new kit speeds the process up by introducing light and ozone. The particles are trapped in the filter, and when the rain hits the ground, the air is clean again. In other words nature's own wastewater treatment plant," explains Professor and Atmospheric Chemist Matthew S. Johnson from Department of Chemistry at UCPH-SCIENCE, who is the brain behind this air purification method. Matthew calls this process for Gas Phase Advanced Oxidation (GPAO).

After it turned out to be a success in Aarhus, University of Copenhagen entered a license agreement with INFUSER A/S, which was to commercialise the technology within the air purification.

Cooperation
Matthew S. Johnsson is pleased with the cooperation between INFUSER and the University of Copenhagen. The company is working very closely with research environments at Department of Chemistry, and has therefore made it a priority to be placed very close to the department in the Copenhagen Science City. Earlier in the year the cooperation resulted in the opening of Europe's most advanced development laboratory for the analysis of air quality, INFUSER CleanLab. Similarly, a large part of the company's new employees are former students from the University of Copenhagen. In 2014 Matthew won the University of Copenhagen's Innovation Prize:



Lars Nannerup, CEO at INFUSER, says that the cooperation with University of Copenhagen has been vital to their success:

- Without their patents, without their students, without their highly skilled graduates, which we have been able to hire… Had there been no INFUSER. No clean air. No clean hospital wards.

Lars Nannerup repeats the point in the full assembly hall at Copenhagen Town Hall, where INFUSER wins the Innovation category:

- This is a price to talented researchers carrying out basic research at the universities. This is a price to the Danish system and the support of innovation," he says from the rostrum.