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New Dyson air purifier attacks indoor pollutants

By Owen McCarthy, 23 Mar 2021

With one in eight New Zealanders suffering from respiratory diseases like asthma, and with me as a life-long asthmatic, I have embraced the filtering technologies Dyson introduced and have experienced the difference they make in my home. My curiosity was piqued when they invited me to attend an online seminar where they shared their latest innovation.

We breathe about 9000 litres of air a day and mostly spend 90% of our time inside.

Dyson says, “There are a number of indoor pollution sources, which release pollutants like PM10, PM2.5, VOCs, NO2 and formaldehyde into the air. Sources of pollution are present in all aspects of our daily lives, whether that be PM2.5 emitted when cooking, VOCs released from cleaning products or the continuous off-gassing of formaldehyde from our living room furniture. Tirelessly improving and constantly iterating, Dyson’s new Purifier Formaldehyde range reflects the latest technology in three core areas: sensing, filtration and acoustics.” 

Years ago I discovered that I am averse to formaldehyde, which is one reason I tend to avoid museums and messing about with microscope specimens. It also is found in many household items. 

Dyson has taken its problem-solving approach and applied it to the problem of formaldehyde. This is what they reported.

In addition to the existing particle, NO2, VOCs, temperature and humidity sensors, the integration of an intelligent formaldehyde sensor ensures precise sensing of the pollutant for the lifetime of the machine. Formaldehyde sensors can be gel-based and may deteriorate gradually as they dry out over time. Using an electro-chemical cell, the Dyson formaldehyde sensor does not dry out and its unique intelligent algorithm cross-checks data every second, selectively sensing to avoid confusion with other VOCs. 

Dyson’s Selective Catalytic Oxidisation (SCO) filter continuously destroys formaldehyde at a molecular level. The catalytic filter has a unique coating, with the same structure as the Cryptomelane mineral. Its billions of atom-sized tunnels are the optimal size and shape to trap and destroy formaldehyde, breaking it down into tiny amounts of water and CO2. It then regenerates from oxygen in the air to keep destroying it continuously without ever requiring replacement.”

Not satisfied with this, Dyson has improved their filtration systems, adopting a sealed machine approach.

“In Dyson’s new purifiers, it’s not just the filter that meets HEPA H13 standard, but the whole machine. It captures 99.95% of particles as small as 0.1 microns such as allergens, bacteria, H1N1 virus, pollen and mould spores. Dyson engineers took a forensic approach to achieving a sealed machine, creating high pressure seals at an additional 24 critical points to prevent dirty air from bypassing the filters and carrying pollutants back into the room.” 

They haven’t stopped there, having reduced the noise output by 20%.  They have achieved this by changing the geometry of the machine and increasing the aperture where air exits the purifier. This has led to less friction between air and machine and less noise.  

Earlier, I referenced the Dyson team’s problem-solving approach. Their worldwide team of 14,000 love technological challenges, and when it comes to testing, they go further.  “sing Dyson Air Multiplier Technology, the machine can project purified air to every corner of the room.

Auto mode enables the machine to maintain a preferred room temperature and air quality levels, while the machine can be entirely controlled by the Dyson Link App and activated by voice control. 

Dyson Purifier machines are engineered for real spaces. The industry standard for testing air purifiers measures performance using a laboratory test conducted in a compact chamber 12m2 in size, with a ceiling fan to circulate the air and one sensor inside the room measuring air quality. For more representative testing, Dyson’s POLAR test is based on a larger room size of 27m2 with no added fan and uses eight sensors in the corners of the room and one sensor in the centre to collect air quality data.” 

For me, Dyson’s products have improved my quality of life markedly.  My asthma symptoms have decreased and so has my use of inhalers. It was common for me to go through an inhaler in two weeks, and lurch from one chest infection to another. In the last four years, my incidence of bronchitis has declined to one or two incidents at the most. I can’t wait to see how this new product can improve my quality of life further. 

The new Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde will retail for $1099. 

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