R&D Case Study: Inventor of world’s first filter-free air purifier gets £95k to create portable device

Date: July 31, 2023

A Milton Keynes company that has developed NASA technology to invent the world’s first filter-free air purifier has received £95,296 in R&D tax relief from the government to create a portable version.

Air For Life’s Sanifiers destroy impurities in the air and on surfaces rather than trapping them in filters that have to be changed every three to six months.

The invention will help millions of people who suffer allergies including hay fever and asthma every year, and could reduce their reliance on medication like antihistamines.

One of the company’s proprietary technologies called AFL PCO uses a fan to draw the air past an ultraviolet lamp that eliminates contaminants. The UV light also reacts with a nano metal catalyst that releases human-friendly negative ions that break down bacteria and viruses in the room.

The negative ions remove allergen-causing substances like dust, pollen, pet dander, and PM2.5 pollution particles from the air.

Air For Life founder and CEO Jay Vitale developed the technology behind the Sanifier while researching a NASA technology that removes the ethylene gas produced by fresh fruit and vegetables.

The tax relief was received for research into miniaturising the Sanifier, which saw the company investigate how many LED lights would be needed to replace the purifier’s UV bulb.

The company also needed to reduce the speed of the fan so it wasn’t too loud for guests using the mini device in hotels and apartment buildings. They also improved a second ionising technology called AFL Plasma with the use of carbon electrode brushes which delivers 100 times the volume of ions.

Redesigning circuit boards was also necessary to allow the Mini Sanifier to be installed in larger vehicles which operate on a 24-volt supply such as public buses and HGVs.

The technology developed by Air For Life is unlike anything else in the marketplace. The company’s R&D activities resulted in £95,296 in tax relief from the government, with the help of Catax (a Ryan company).

Jay Vitale, founder and CEO of Air For Life, said:

“The money we’ve received back from this R&D claim will help us continue with our research and development, and let us create new products that help people breathe more easily.

“It was only when we were introduced to Catax that we felt confident we would get the claim we deserved based on our high R&D spending. Everyone at Catax was a dream to work with, and I’m really grateful that they helped us receive such a significant sum.”

Kully Nijjar, Associate Director at Catax (a Ryan company), added:

“Air For Life is building on research that originated with NASA to create its state-of-the-art products, so it’s hard to imagine a company that is more deserving of R&D tax relief.

“Its filter-free air purifier will help millions of people who suffer from asthma and hay fever, and this R&D claim helped them in their quest to produce a portable version.

“The tax relief received by Air For Life should allow them to keep innovating and creating for the coming years.”

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