Israeli startup LIGC raised $ 3 million to build an air filter that uses electricity and a material called graphene to zap germs and air pollutants. The need for better air filters is evident all around me as I sit in my house waiting for the smoke from four record breaking California wildfires to go away.
Funding comes from China’s publicly traded Hubei Forbon technology that makes air filters. LIGC plans to use the money to manufacture laser-induced graphene filters that can be used in air filters.
Yehuda Borenstein, CEO of LIGC, said he licensed the technology from Rice University in Houston in partnership with Ben Gurion University in Israel. Research has been going on at Rice University since its first breakthrough in 201
“When something goes through the surface, it is heated or electrified and the filter eliminates it,” said Borenstein. “We can kill bacteria and eliminate other things that get through the filter. And we don’t have to change our filter or make the filter as tight as other devices. “
Graphene is made up of carbon atoms arranged in an allotrope – a unique molecular structure that resembles a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice. It’s a good conductor of electricity and can operate on low voltages and currents that are safe for its intended use, Borenstein said. Since the LIGC filter uses active means of eliminating bacteria and viruses, it can work with lower density filters, which results in significantly lower energy consumption. In addition, active LIGC filters require less maintenance than standard filters and are safe for the operator during maintenance and replacement, said Borenstein.
Air systems in airplanes, offices, and homes typically use highly efficient particulate filters (HEPA), which require frequent replacement and are expensive to maintain.
LIGC believes that its technology can also be used for water treatment, circuit boards, gas and strain sensors, wound healing, hygienic textiles, hygienic pads, water splitting, fuel cell catalysis and more. The company is currently focusing on air filters. Borenstein said it could take a few months for the product to hit the market as the team is currently testing various prototypes. He also said that zapping doesn’t create any odor.
The team has five employees and six licensed patents. LIGC faces many rivals, including molecules. I now use one ofolekule’s air filters to clean my office. The sensor is yellow, which indicates that the air quality is mediocre.