Industries across Europe are threatened with shutdown because the European Union emission rules for Volatile Organic Compounds have been tightened. In the meanwhile, an air cleaning invention has proven its ability to remove such compounds.
In the process, the University of Copenhagen researchers have helped a business in Danish town Aarhus improve relations to angry neighbours.
In deepest secrecy the inventor Matthew Johnson from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen has been collaborating with an investor, INFUSER, in mounting and testing a revolutionary air cleaning device at the industrial plant, "Jysk Miljoerens" in Danish town Aarhus.
The reason for keeping the testing secret was that they wanted to be absolutely sure that they could in fact remove the pollution before going public. Now their measurements are concluded and the results are in. And the device actually works.
At the department of Chemistry atmospheric chemist Matthew Johnson invented and patented the air cleaning method which is based on the natural ability of the Earth atmosphere to clean itself.
In a process that is triggered by sunlight, polluting gasses rising into the sky start forming particles when they come across naturally occurring compounds like ozone.
The newly formed particles are washed out of the atmosphere by rain. Once the rain hits the ground, the atmosphere is clean again. In other words the whole process is nature's own purifications works, explains Professor Johnson.
"I have investigated the self-cleaning mechanism of the atmosphere for years. Suddenly I realized, that the mechanism is so simple, that we could wrap it in a box and use it to clean indoor air. This makes for a better indoor climate, and in this particular case it also removes smells from this industrial process allowing the company to stay in business and making the neighbours happy," Johnson said.
The findings have been presented at the conference "First International Education Forum on Environment and Energy Science" held on Hawaii December 14 to 18.