Air Purifier Created by Indian American Listed in Top 25 Inventions of 2017

Yogi Goswami's air purifier, called Molekule, has been featured in Time magazine's list of top 25 inventions of 2017.


A device invented by an Indian American professor Yogi Goswami has been named as world’s first air purifier that completely destroys harmful pollutants. The air purifier, called Molekule, has been featured in the list of top 25 inventions of 2017 by Time magazine.

Molekule scores over existing technology such as HEPA filters, which only trap the pollutants, and don’t destroy them. “HEPA filters remain the standard technology in existing air purifiers and, unfortunately, many harmful pollutants are too small for HEPA filters to trap,” Jaya Goswami Rao, Yogi’s daughter and Molekule chief operating officer, was quoted as saying by the Times of India. “Larger pollutants like bacteria and mold may be collected by such filters, but they remain on the filter surface, multiply and are released back into the air. Because Molekule actually destroys even the smallest pollutants, they are permanently removed from the air you breathe.”

Yogi, a professor at the University of South Florida, began his research for new technology for air purifiers in the 1990s. He migrated to the United States from Delhi in 1969 for his PhD. Yogi got his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from what was then the Delhi College of Engineering (now called Delhi Technological University). He was motivated to pursue this line of research as his son Dilip struggled with asthma. Dilip and Jaya were born in the United States.

Twenty years later, he found the solution — Molekule. His son and daughter, Dilip and Jaya, co-founded Molekule and converted the patented technology developed by Yogi into a consumer product. The purifier has Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) technology, which is a light-activated nano filter to create catalytic reaction on the surface of the filter that breaks down pollutants — allergens, mold, bacteria and viruses — at a molecular level.

According to Jaya, third-party laboratories like the University of Minnesota and the Aerosol Research Engineering Laboratory have tested and verified the technology. A four-week study with 49 allergy sufferers showed that they “experienced a dramatic and sustained reduction in their symptoms over the entire testing period.” The results were presented at the ACAAI (American College of Asthma Allergy and Immunology) Annual Conference 2017.

Each unit costs $800 (approx. Rs 51,500). They raised $10.10 million in Series A funding earlier this year. “During the Northern California wildfires, we exhausted our entire inventory in two weeks,” Jaya said.

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