A succession of developments in Spain since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in the involvement of leading Tier 1 automotive interiors supplier Grupo Antolin in the launch of the new Air Move+ air purification solution for the vehicle aftermarket.
At the start of the pandemic, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and its Valencia-based electrospinning and electrospraying spin-off company, Bioinicia, developed a new respiratory mask filter called Proveil to protect key workers from the virus.
Most facemasks used today are based on meltblown polypropylene fibers, sandwiched between spunbond nonwoven layers. Their effectiveness at filtering small airborne particles relies on electrostatic surface charges, which attract and capture these particles from the air as it passes through the filter. This electrostatic filtering effect only works when the mask is dry and quickly wears off during use, as humidity in the breath eliminates the electrostatic charge. For this reason, spunbond/meltblown/spunbond (SMS) filters are not suitable for continuous wear and need to be discarded and replaced frequently.
Thanks to this partnership, vehicles will become a health and safety bubble for all occupants, allowing complete recirculation of clean air,” said Xavier Trillo, CEO and founder of Zonair3D.
Proveil is different, consisting of an extremely thin layer of nanofibers, with diameters more than ten times smaller than conventional meltblown fibers, to provide highly effective mechanical filtration for small airborne particles, with very little reduction in efficiency over time. The larger surface area and smaller pore size within the Proveil filter maximizes the likelihood of the particles being stopped by the fibers without relying on electrostatic attraction. As a result, filter performance is maintained over time.
In May 2021, Barcelona-based Zonair3D introduced the virucidal nanofiber-based filters developed by the CSIC and Bioinicia into its indoor air purification products, supplying 4,000 units to schools in the Valencia Region alone.
The company’s air purifiers guarantee 99.999% pure air and have a sealing system that allows the air flow to pass through all the filtering stages without any loss. In the pre-filtering stage, particles of up to 0.1 microns through HEPA 14/ULPA 15 grade filters with the SNRC’s antiviral treatment. The particulate filtration stage also includes the GRSystem, an active carbon filter based on patented Zonair3D technology for the elimination of environmental ozone, a reduction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and decomposition of the toxicity of the pollution in the carbon bed.
In October, Zonair3D then announced its collaboration deal with Grupo Antolin for Air Move+.
“Thanks to this partnership, vehicles will become a health and safety bubble for all occupants, allowing complete recirculation of clean air,” said Xavier Trillo, CEO and founder of Zonair3D. “This international agreement will allow us to continue with our mission of providing pure air to as many people as possible.”
“We are advancing our goal of delivering solutions that improve the health, safety and comfort of car interiors,” added Grupo Antolin chairman Ernesto Antolin. “As part of our clean interiors project, we are researching different technologies and working with various partners to turn the car into a clean space that takes care of health. We want passengers to feel as safe in the car as they do in their homes, keeping in mind that we spend almost five years of our lives inside a vehicle.”
Air Move+ has been specifically designed to be installed in vehicles in order to prevent diseases related to the inhalation of contaminants, VOCs, particles and other pathogens. Placed inside the vehicle, it allows pure air to be continuously recirculated in a matter of seconds, giving occupants a virus and bacteria-free safe environment, as well as preventing them from inhaling contaminants while inside the vehicle.
For more information on the technology discussed in this article, visit grupoantolin.com.