Air Purification System Researched at Clarkson University Granted FDA Clearance

July 4th, 2013
Children with respiratory issues may breathe easier thanks to an air purification system researched at Clarkson University.

The HEPAirX system was developed and manufactured by Air Innovations of North Syracuse, N.Y. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Air Innovations clearance to market HEPAirX as a Class II medical recirculating air cleaner, an approval that will allow the company to better promote the product through healthcare channels.

A Clarkson research team led by Andrea Ferro, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Philip Hopke, the Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor and director of Clarkson's Institute for a Sustainable Environment and Center for Air Resources Engineering & Science (CARES), worked with Air Innovations to test the device. The team received funding in 2006 from the Syracuse Center of Excellence's Technology Application & Demonstration Program and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to complete the research.

HEPAirX fits into a child's bedroom window; it filters out indoor air pollutants such as dust mites, pollen, cat dander, mold spores and other allergens many times an hour, while simultaneously filtering additional outdoor air supplied to the room. The device heats cold winter air and cools warm summer air as it filters into the bedroom to keep the temperature constant.

Clarkson conducted two separate studies of 20 and 30 children with physician-diagnosed asthma that revealed significant improvements in lung function and reductions in inflammation when using the device. Those children who used HEPAirX while they slept at night continued to show improvement even after several weeks of not using it.

Following feedback from the first study, the Clarkson team suggested modifications to HEPAirX to make it smaller and more energy efficient and user-friendly while maintaining performance.

"It's been rewarding to work on something that has a direct impact on people's lives," Ferro said. "You can't control everything, but you can provide clean air when a person is sleeping. If they're breathing clean air while they sleep, it helps them throughout the day, even though they're not in that clean environment all the time."

"It was a pleasure for us to work with Drs. Hopke and Ferro and their team of graduate students on these projects," said Air Innovations President and CEO Michael Wetzel, P.E., a 1988 Clarkson graduate. "They were extremely responsive to our needs and those of the subjects in the studies. We look forward to continuing to work with Clarkson University as we develop new products and technologies for the HVAC market."

Air Innovations (www.airinnovations.com) designs and builds specialty air conditioning, refrigeration and environmental control solutions for end-users and original equipment manufacturers around the world. The company's systems are custom designs that feature close tolerance control of temperature (to +/- 0.01°C), humidity control (to +/-0.5% stability), filtration and pressurization, and can be configured into a variety of spaces. AI's capabilities range from concept development to prototyping, from sample runs to mass production. Over the past several years, AI and its personnel have been the recipients of numerous awards of distinction, including Engineer of the Year (HPAC Magazine 2011), Inc. 5000 (2011, 2010), Manufacturer's Association of CNY Hall of Fame Award (2011) and CenterState CEO Economic Champion (2010-2013).

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Provided by Clarkson University

This Phys.org Science News Wire page contains a press release issued by an organization mentioned above and is provided to you “as is” with little or no review from Phys.Org staff.

More news stories

The origins of handedness in life

Handedness is a complicated business. To simply say life is left-handed doesn't even begin to capture the blooming hierarchy of binary refinements it continues to evolve. Over the years there have been numerous ...

Nanoparticles give up forensic secrets

A group of researchers from Switzerland has thrown light on the precise mechanisms responsible for the impressive ability of nanoparticles to detect fingermarks left at crime scenes.

New frontier in error-correcting codes

Error-correcting codes are one of the glories of the information age: They're what guarantee the flawless transmission of digital information over the airwaves or through copper wire, even in the presence of the corrupting ...

Study shows sharks have personalities

Some sharks are 'gregarious' and have strong social connections, whilst others are more solitary and prefer to remain inconspicuous, according to a new study which is the first to show that the notorious ...

Hide and seek: Sterile neutrinos remain elusive

The Daya Bay Collaboration, an international group of scientists studying the subtle transformations of subatomic particles called neutrinos, is publishing its first results on the search for a so-called ...

Genetic secrets of the monarch butterfly revealed

The monarch butterfly is one of the most iconic insects in the world, best known for its distinct orange and black wings and a spectacular annual mass migration across North America. However, little has been ...