A new technology has made giant air cleaners in Swedish factories smaller and more energy-efficient, and now it’s doing the same for filters in your home. The innovation: paper.
Many purifiers, both industrial and residential, clean the air by giving pollutants an electric charge and trapping the staticky gunk with oppositely charged metal plates. Humanscale’s tabletop Humanair replaces metal with strips of paper coiled into a foot-wide spiral. The paper attracts dirt like metal plates do, because charged lines of metallic paint run along one side of the strips. But the nonconductive layers of paper can be packed just 0.06 inch apart without creating sparks, so the paper traps more grit. It squeezes 14 square feet of filth-catching surface—at least twice as much as other electronic home purifiers—inside a 15-by-13-by-4-inch case.
Since the Humanair is so skinny, it needs only low-power fans to nudge air through. And with the small current it uses to charge dust, it sips just 17 watts, making it the most efficient way to bring industrial cleaning power to your personal space.
Price not set; humanscale.com
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.