Last time we talked about solar death rays fighting off hordes of bacteria, mold and viruses. This time lets discuss smells; all the bad ones that slowly build up in your home. Smells are powerful. Research has shown that smells are the sense that is most strongly tied to memory. Do you want your home to be remembered because it had an odd odor? We didn’t think so. The second technology used by the APCO In-duct Air Purifier system is…(drum roll)… carbon. Activated carbon has several uses, but in the APCO it removes odors.
Activated carbon is used for all kinds of things: cleaning water, filtering chemical solutions for analysis, treating overdoses and poisonings, and as in the APCO removing chemicals from air. Now, brace yourself, incoming chemistry. Ready? Here we go. Activated carbon is full of micro pores. These tiny holes give 1 gram of activated carbon over 500 m^2 of surface area. More surface area means that there is more area for chemicals to react to. And carbon is very good at reacting with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). When the VOCs react with the carbon in the APCO they get stuck and removed from the air. Since the VOCs cause the smells, and the VOCs are stuck in the carbon; the smells are gone. Whew…chemistry over. Did you make it? Glad to hear it. Next time we’ll talk about why the carbon can keep catching the VOCs.