Korean researchers have developed a new air cleaning equipment that can purify the air completely in an hour inside a smoking room where 10 people are simultaneously smoking.
"We have developed a nano-catalyst filter which can be used in a smoking room to reduce and purify major harmful substances of cigarette smoke," said lead researcher Jongsoo Jurng from the Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).
"Our catalyst removes 100 percent of the particle substances of cigarette smoke, such as nicotine and tar, converting those into water vapor and carbon dioxide," he said in a statement.
According to the team, the air cleaning equipment based on the newly-developed catalyst can purify over 80 percent of the cigarette smoke within 30 minutes and 100 percent of it within one hour in a 30-square-metre smoking room.
Activated charcoal-based filters have been mostly used in a smoking room to remove gaseous materials in cigarette smoke.
However, those filters are not effective in removing gaseous materials such as acetaldehyde, their absorption performance decreases fast in a closed facility such as a smoking room, and they need to be replaced at least every other week.
The new nano-catalyst filter uses a technology that decomposes elements of cigarette smoke using oxygen radical, which is generated by decomposing ozone in the air.
"From the convergence perspective, the new nanometer catalyst filter can be integrated with other air cleaning products such as air purifiers and air conditioners," said co-lead researcher Gwi-Nam.
The researchers expect that air filters based on their technology can be produced commercially in a year.