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INNOVATIVE FUNCTIONAL PAINT FOR AIR PURIFICATION

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - AIRLITE (INNOVATIVE FUNCTIONAL PAINT FOR AIR PURIFICATION)

Reporting period: 2017-11-01 to 2018-10-31

Poor air quality is a major issue for European public health, economy and environment. AM Technology Ltd is an SME founded with the objective of successfully developing and commercialising innovative functional paints based on AIRLITETM technology, an air purification technology based on the photocatalytic oxidation effect of Titanium dioxide (TiO2). The paints based on AIRLITE are capable of transforming any architectural surface into a natural air purifier, using only the energy of light, making no noise and requiring no maintenance.
On their way to the market, AM Technology have developed some preliminary AIRLITE based products and conducted an early stage commercial validation phase with them. This validation demonstrated the business viability of the project and identified the tasks and activities that need to be undertaken to successfully introduce AIRLITE into the paints and coatings global mass market.
To achieve this, different specific objectives have been addressed:
- Increasing the efficiency of AIRLITE in indoor and outdoor applications
- Extending AIRLITE product catalogue without losing paints effectiveness
- Improving the preparation and application process by developing a tinting and mixing machine.
AIRLITE technology is being enhanced to optimise the functionalities of the AIRLITE products (indoor & outdoor) up to the values targeted in the project:
- Solar reflectance functionality (SRI): To improve the SRI of Airlite technology to reach a value of 109 for the white colour and a value greater than 70 for the coloured paint. A research was done to find different raw materials that can optimise the SRI. Test phase was done selecting 3 raw materials compatibles with the other components of the mixture. Following, a test plan with third parties laboratory was done on 5 different colours to get third parties test on SRI properties, in accordance to different standards.
- Photocatalytic activity improvement and optimisation of Airlite technology under visible light. Intensive research of selected dopants elements to optimise the activation range in the visible wavelength was done. After the shortlisting of suppliers of photocatalytic doped TiO2, internal test to verify the compatibility of the raw material with the new component were done. Very good feedback from one of the TiO2 shortlisted allowed to optimise the formulation to obtain a stable product. A new 180 colour palette is now available.
To further increase the efficiency of AIRLITE in indoor applications (photocatalytic effect) and outdoor applications (SRI), different studies on the compatibility of the raw material have been undertaken. Thanks to the photocatalytic effect, AIRLITE got a good reduction of NOx, also using a visible light instead of the UV one. To increase the SRI of the product different raw materials were tested in order to achieve the best result. During in-house tests, AM Technology found the right percentage of raw materials that guarantee both properties without losing in terms of finishing, POT life, ease of use.
AIRLITE has been tested in five test sites located in four countries Mexico, Spain, Thailand and Italy, involving different climate zones. In order to extend AIRLITE product catalogue without losing effectiveness of the paints, the new formulation of the products already obtained were applied to finalise the extension of the colour ranges that could be obtained, and the development of a transparent product has been developed and tested.
The number of combinations necessary to obtain the wide range of colours makes the process hard and time consuming, so that the mixing colour machine results mandatory, therefore, Consortium decided to study, project and develop a new prototype of mixing colours machine. Thanks to this, the company got the opportunity to optimize the work of its human resources.
Communication, dissemination and commercialisation tasks were done to provide the AIRLITE products with the necessary visibility and position in the targeted markets and to support the business plan implementation
EXPECTED TECHNICAL OUTCOMES:
- Better performance in indoor and outdoor applications by improving the anti-pollution and the energy efficiency functionalities, saving on air conditioning costs.
- AIRLITE will be available in almost every colour, including a transparent paint applicable onto every material.
- Reducing the labour and maintenance costs by easing the correct application of AIRLITE.
EXPECTED COMMERCIAL OUTCOMES:
- To position AIRLITE as a reference brand in the paints and coatings market.
- To multiply the current income of the company by 40 fold and the number of employees by 10 fold by 2022.
- To boost AM Technology’s growth in the next few years, propelling the company to take off and grow sustainably.
MAIN ECONOMIC BENEFITS:
- Reduction of health costs due to anti-pollution functionality: According to the OECD, air pollution is costing the world's most advanced economies, including India and China, $3.5 trillion per year. The economic benefits brought by AIRLITE due to its air purification capabilities are difficult to quantify from an economic perspective, but in the medium to long term there will be substantial economic benefit created by the expected wide use of AIRLITE, linked to the reduction of the pollution levels (effective reduction of 80-90% NOx based on ISO and UNI standards, and reduction of chemical and biological pollutants by 50 – 99.9%) and the consequent reduction of healthcare costs.
- Increase of productivity of employees due to anti-pollution functionality: The capability of AIRLITE to keep air quality levels high in indoor environments has an impact on keeping the productivity of people working in those spaces high, which results in creating economic benefit for the companies that own those spaces. To confirm it, a recent certification has been created in US, it is called WELL building certification and it includes all the parameters (included AIR condition) that are good for the employee.
- Reduction of energy consumption due to high solar reflectance functionality: AIRLITE is a paint technology with high solar reflectance (SRI of 109). The tests carried out with the new formulation with an important customer in Bangkok showed an important reduction on temperature with Airlite with the consequence of an important reduction on energy consumption for air conditioners. This will give to the customers an important ROI.
- Reduction of maintenance costs due to aesthetic functionality: Considering that the AIRLITE products’ lifetime is twice that of normal paints, which translates into a 50% saving in repainting costs (materials + labour costs). This saving is reinforced by the AIRLITE’s self-cleaning characteristics that contribute to keeping the surfaces cleaner – facades and walls become self-cleaning and smells are eliminated - which allows further extensions to the repainting cycles.
INVOLVEMENT OF STAKEHOLDERS:
- Universities
- Certification entities
- Local partners: Sales agents, resellers, building material traders and importers, etc.
- Influencers, usually sourced from the construction Industry: Architects, Developers, Engineering specifiers, Green Building Council
- End users: Public bodies in charge of outdoor air quality, owners/ managers of public and private spaces with special indoor air quality requirements or needs, end users of the construction and energy efficiency sectors