Awards Registry

Elimination of Airborne Volatile Compounds Through Incorporation of Advanced 3D Nanostructured Catalytic Coatings in Adsorption/Decomposition Air Purification Systems
Profile last edited on: 5/25/2022

Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Principal Investigator
Elijah Shirman
Activity Indicator

Location Information

Metalmark Innovations Inc

763D Concord Avenue
Boston, MA 02134
   (617) 714-4026
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   07
County:   Suffolk

Phase I

Phase I year
Phase I Amount
Indoor air quality (IAQ) directly impacts human health, cognitive function, productivity, and comfort. While numerous technologies (e.g. filtration, sorption, and photocatalytic degradation) have been developed to address poor IAQ, each one has its own drawbacks, and they are particularly inefficient at targeting low boiling point volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as the ubiquitous carcinogen, formaldehyde, and ultrafine particulates (UFPs, size

Public Health Relevance Statement:
NIH (NIEHS) ?SBIR Phase I Proposal Metalmark Innovations, Inc. Project Narrative Indoor air quality (IAQ) in contemporary residential, educational, and workspace buildings greatly influences short and long-term health effects, performance, and comfort of occupants. Metalmark Innovations has developed advanced nanostructured catalytic materials for efficient decomposition of indoor volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are the major technological challenge in IAQ management. The proposed project focuses on the design and prototyping of an air purification subsystem, integrating Metalmark’s advanced 3D nanostructured catalysts toward enabling cost-efficient, comercializable, air purifiers for the treatment of VOCs in real-world settings.

Project Terms:
3-Dimensional; Address; Adsorption; Affect; Air; Air Movements; Aluminum Oxide; Benchmarking; carcinogenicity; Carcinogens; catalyst; Chemicals; Chemistry; cognitive function; commercialization; Complex; Confidential Information; cost; cost efficient; Couples; Dependence; design; Development; Ensure; environmental stressor; Evaluation; Exhibits; Exposure to; Filtration; follow-up; Formaldehyde; Foundations; Goals; Government; Health; Home environment; Human; Humidity; Hybrids; Indoor Air Quality; Indoor environment; indoor pollutant; industry partner; Inhalation; innovation; Intelligence; interest; Kinetics; Laboratories; Letters; manufacturing process; Maps; metal oxide; Metals; nanofabrication; Nanostructures; National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; novel; operation; oxidation; Particulate; patient home care; Performance; Persons; Phase; Platinum; pollutant; prevent; Procedures; Process; Productivity; Protocols documentation; prototype; Reaction; research and development; Research Institute; Resources; scale up; Schools; self assembly; sensor; Series; Silicon Dioxide; Site; Small Business Innovation Research Grant; Structure; success; System; Techniques; Technology; Temperature; Testing; Time; Titania; Toluene; toxicant; Ultrafine; United States National Institutes of Health; volatile organic compound; Work; Workplace

Phase II

Phase II year
2022 (last award dollars: 2022)
Phase II Amount
Every year, eight million premature deaths and $5 trillion of societal costs are linked to air pollution. According to the US EPA, indoor air quality (IAQ) is often two to ?ve times worse than outdoor air, which is especially alarming since we spend 90% of our time indoors. In fact, poor IAQ accounts for 48% of air pollution-related deaths. Submicron-scale pollutants, particularly volatile organic compounds (VOCs), cause serious chronic illnesses, ranging from cancer to pulmonary diseases, and reduce worker productivity and student concentration. Existing technologies rely on pollutant capturing, trapping, and sometimes destruction, but are all known to have problems from desorption to byproduct creation and ozone generation. Metalmark Innovations, Inc. is developing an advanced hybrid sorption-catalyst air puri?cation system to capture and destroy such pollutants in an e cient and byproduct-free manner. The air puri?er relies on Metalmark’s proprietary 3D nanostructured thermal catalytic materials that are uniquely suited for IAQ applications, due to their signi?cantly enhanced activity, reduced operating temperatures and associated reduction in energy consumption, exceptional catalyst stability (no nanoparticle sintering), and reduced cost compared to their commercially available counterparts. VOCs are captured in a sorbent module and intermittently released to the catalyst for complete destruction without release of byproducts. In this Phase II project, we will source and improve sorbent materials, design the Metalmark catalysts, optimize the sorbent-catalyst system, produce three generations of air puri?er prototypes through an iterative learning process, and perform at least one pilot study using the ?nal prototype. Overcoming the technological challenges posed in this SBIR Phase II project will propel this innovative indoor VOC treatment system towards a commercial product for improving the safety of indoor air of o ces, hotels, schools, homes, and other indoor or in-cabin spaces. Public Health Relevance Statement Project Narrative According to the World Health Organization, poor indoor air quality is linked to high levels of cardiovascular and lung disease, cancers, allergies, asthma, poor cognition, and low productivity, among other diseases and complications. Despite a great need, there is no e cient solution for the elimination of sub-micron pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ultra?ne particulates (UFPs), and airborne viruses. This proposal seeks to develop a novel and highly e cient air puri?cation system consisting of a sorbent and Metalmark’s advanced catalysts in order to capture and destroy tough pollutants, speci?cally focusing on VOCs.