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H2020

AIRLITE Report Summary

Project ID: 738719

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AIRLITE (INNOVATIVE FUNCTIONAL PAINT FOR AIR PURIFICATION)

Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2017-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

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 to successfully introduce AIRLITE into the paints and coatings global mass market.
To achieve this, different specific objectives are being 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.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the first year of the project, the work done has been focused on launching all the activities defined in the project’s planning:

-From the beginning, coordination and management activities have been carried out to ensure an effective and smooth implementation of the project. The project management plan was prepared during the first semester of the project.

-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: An intensive work was done in the first months to improve the SRI of Airlite technology with the aim of reaching a value of 113 for the white colour and a value greater than 70 for the coloured paint. A preliminary research was done to discover and find different raw materials that can optimise the SRI of Airlite. The test phase started after selecting 3 raw materials compatibles with the other components of the mixture. After this test, trials with potential customers and clients were conducted. In the next months, a test plan (Task 2.1.2) with third parties laboratory will be done on 5 different colours to get third parties test on SRI properties, in accordance to different standards.
- Performance optimisation in the visible light: A collaboration with La Sapienza of Rome University started in December 2016 with the aim of improving photocatalytic activity of Airlite technology under visible light. An intensive research of selected dopants elements to optimise the activation range in the visible wavelength (>390 nm) has been done. After the shortlisting of suppliers of photocatalytic doped TiO2, a first phase of internal test has been done to verify the compatibility of the raw material with the new component. We got a very good feedback from one of the TiO2 shortlisted so we continued the internal test with the aim to optimise the formulation to obtain a stable product. The first tests ensured that the enhanced formulations provide an increased reduction of NOx, gram positive and negative bacteria, under UV light and under visible light.

-Additionally, some formulations were preliminary tested to extend the colour range to a complete palette. A new 180 colour palette is now available.

-The main manufacturing mixing machine of AM Technology's finished product was erected and tested through mechanical, safety and operational tests.

-Performance validation of the new AIRLITE products in real life scenarios with real end users is currently in a preliminary stage. A number of commitments and agreements have been already achieved.

-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

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

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 113). 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

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