Air pollution affects almost everyone on the planet. Today, the common practice is to extract pollutants by using activated carbon, which is usually fossil-based. The company Adsorbi has found a way to clean the air without harming the environment and the solution is found in the forest.
Air pollution is one of the largest environmental health risks and is linked to diseases such as asthma, heart disease and stroke. According to WHO, about 99 % of the world’s population breathes air that exceeds WHO guideline limits. The need to decrease emissions to fight air pollution and climate change is urgent, at the same time as solutions to capture emissions can help clean the air today.
One company that has taken up this challenge is Gothenburg-based Adsorbi. Adsorbi was started through research at Chalmers University when a group of researchers wanted to solve the problem of air pollution at museums, which destroys artworks. In 2022, the company was separated from Chalmers, but the goal remains the same: to fight air pollution.
How it works
Adsorbi has created a bio-based material made out of wood from the Swedish forests that absorbs five times more air pollution compared to competitive material, according to Adsorbi. The most used standard for air purification today is activated carbon, which is often fossil-based and has a short lifecycle. Activated carbon also performs poorly in removing health-hazardous volatile organic compounds. Adsorbi’s solution can capture and store harmful air pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide. The product is sold in the form of a pellet so that it can be replaced and used in existing systems.
Adsorbi currently targets the technology at museums and art galleries, where it can protect artefacts from air pollutants as well as remove the harmful particles that the artwork itself might emit. But Adsorbi’s bio-based material can also be used to reduce odour for industries such as shoes, bags and cars.
In the fall of 2023, Adsorbi secured €360,000 in seed funding for their cellulose-based air purification material from the innovation company Metsä, Chalmers Ventures and Jovitech Invest. The funding will be used to continue studying product application possibilities and ramp up sales in odour removal and art conservation while concentrating on product development and field testing with air filter companies.
Adsorbi is also looking into using cellulose from wooden chips, a rest product from the forest industry, to make their bio-based purification material.