Purification of the air from the smallest PM particles, dust, viruses and bacteria, allergens, pollen, chemicals, but most importantly from the greenhouse gas – carbon dioxide, are the possibilities of the innovative Macedonian technology of the company “Daris Engineering”. The company is the only one in the world that, in addition to NASA, uses granular filters, made from 100% natural materials that absorb 99% of air pollutants. They are installed in four types of purifiers: for rooms, for car exhaust and heaters, for the interior of the car, as well as in the unique tower for purification of ambient air.
The innovator and owner of “Daris Engineering”, Petre Risteski, proudly tells “Innovativnost” that this unique technology is domestic, and samples of the first series of car purifiers have already been produced. Recently, “Daris Engineering”, within a project supported by the Fund for Innovation and Technological Development, signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Municipality of Gjorce Petrov for the construction of the first innovative ambient air purifier with its own technology.
Conversed – Sanja Naumovska
Mr. Risteski, explain in more detail about the innovative technology that your company has developed, especially the ambient air purification tower, which is necessary for cities with extreme pollution like Skopje?
The Daris Engineering ambient air purifier is a tall tower
6.5 meters, which is energy independent and powered by solar energy. It works on the principle of suction of dust and pollutant particles from the air, which after passing through the filter, comes out completely purified. The innovation of the tower and the other types of purifiers we are developing is in the filter. It is a granular filter that is not used by anyone in the world except NASA on the International Space Station. Unlike the existing filters on the market, HEPA filters, mesh, canvas or paper, granular is unique because it is simple, made entirely of natural materials, granules, which are found in our country and in the region. We use domestic resources for production, which makes the filter cheap to make and easy to replace. If we compare it with other types of filters, it is even more competitive because it purifies for more than a year, unlike existing filter technologies that clog much faster. When we add to that the fact that the price of the granular filter is twice lower than the others, it makes our purifiers as a final product much more efficient and more acceptable on the market.
What is the cleaning capacity of the pollutants on the tower? How many towers does Skopje need, for example, for the residents to breathe clean air?
The tower in Gjorce Petrov will be installed in December and will have a capacity of 70,000 cubic meters of air per hour, which is a lot. It will also be built with the ability to increase its capacity to 140,000 cubic meters by adding another layer of filters and two more fans. That investment would be only 10 percent of the cost of the entire tower, and would double its power. Within a radius of 150 meters, the impact of the ambient purifier is felt, and the exhaust air reaches a radius of 30 meters or 60 meters around the tower, at a height of two meters. For Skopje, for example, about 500 ambient purifiers are enough to drastically reduce pollution levels. According to previous research, it is enough to change the filter once a year. This means that the cost is negligible, especially since it is very cheap. When you calculate how much savings will be made for hospital treatment of people suffering from air pollution or how many lives will be saved, it turns out that the value of the purifier is huge. For example, some of the funds we are now investing in treatment can be directed to this type of purifiers that will be installed in schools, kindergartens, hospitals, public spaces….
What do tests of your innovative technology show? What is the quality of the air coming out of the granular filter?
Ambient air is ungrateful for purification because the open space has no restriction on the movement of dust and harmful particles. The tower will suck air from all sides, and particles will be bound in the filter from a submicron level of 0.1 micrometers and larger, including the most dangerous PM 2.5. The efficiency of purification is 99%, for which we are currently waiting for a written confirmation from the University “Goce Delchev”. The certification of the filter showed us that, in addition to all these harmful substances, our technology also purifies carbon dioxide, which makes it unique in the world.
The use of this filter indoors, indoors, for example, shows that the levels of carbon dioxide fall sharply, so the University made an anecdote about it. The experiments showed that in the test chamber the CO2 values of over 2000 ppb dropped to zero in just 15 minutes, which in a closed space creates a lack of CO2. The professors joked that the filter was so effective that housewives would not approve of our technology, as it would dry out their flowers and leave them without CO2 for photosynthesis. But as a joke aside, we have created a technology that not only purifies the air of polluting particles such as PM, dust, pollen, bacteria, viruses, odors, but also CO2 for the first time. We have a certificate from the laboratory of the Faculty of Agriculture in Skopje that bacteria are absorbed, and in the University in Stip is examined the absorption of heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium, iron, etc.
THE FILTER CERTIFICATION SHOWED US THAT, IN ADDITION TO ALL THESE HARMFUL SUBSTANCES, OUR TECHNOLOGY CLEANS FIRE AND COAL WITH COAL.
How did you come up with the idea of experimenting with air purifiers?
The problem with polluted air is big in our country, and since my student days I have had contact with scientific papers for exhaust gas purification. The most interesting detail I remembered was the Avedore 2 thermal power plant in Denmark, which is located near a settlement and does not generate any exhaust gases or pollution. The filtration technology he uses has been reduced to the point where there are almost no emissions into the air, hence my interest in the filtration process, the long-term upgrading of knowledge and research. Although there are many papers on this topic, it is interesting that granular filters are still not used anywhere. Three years ago I managed to find granules and do an experiment at home, more precisely in a plastic bottle, which was incredibly successful. It showed me that I was on the right track and that innovation could gain commercial use. In a short time, the idea was finalized, and with the call of the Fund for new projects, it entered a more serious phase of elaboration of the details.
What products have you developed with this innovative technology, in collaboration with FITD?
The project envisaged the production of four products with the same technology. The first is intended for air purification in cars, and the second is for purification in homes, offices, hospital rooms, operating rooms, etc. The third product is for exhaust fumes from stoves and cars, and the last is the tower for ambient air purification. All four products use the same filter with different dimensions. The project envisages all of them to reach the level of a commercial product ready for serial production. Some of them, namely the car purifier, have already been produced as a pilot series and are sold on the market. There are only a few purifiers left, and there will probably be several models of the room purifier by the end of the project. A project for the tower in Gjorce Petrov is currently being prepared, after which it will be available to all interested parties and wherever there is a need. We are also working on the exhaust gas purifier, for which some details remain to be completed.
You mentioned that you work with domestic companies that make your innovative air purifiers. How does the realization go from idea to final product?
We have all the materials and raw materials we need for serial production in Macedonia, including design and production. The ambient cleaner tower, for example, is built in a day, as all parts are prefabricated here and can be assembled on site.
What are your plans for the future?
Our vision is to have a purifier in every home in our country. We plan to start next year with a more aggressive campaign to conquer the market, and of course we plan to enter foreign markets. We know that we are price competitive, and tests of filter materials have proven that our technology is sound and gives us new directions for its use in many other industries, especially because of the uniqueness of carbon capture as one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases.