“NTP technology in Squair products has been proven to be extremely effective in fighting germs, viruses, bacteria, fungi and mold. Thorough testing has given us a lot of confidence that a new way to fight germs and bacteria like salmonella, SARS and bird flu is born. Even staph bacteria, regarded as the most antibiotic-resistant bacteria known, have been eliminated by NTP”
Inventors of the Squair portable Air Cleaner on their Kickstarter page
Portability is a novel concept that’s making it possible to enjoy our environment without having to carry the larger version of electronic gadgets with us.
Thus we can enjoy music in a Picnic in Hope Gardens in Jamaica because we can carry a pair of Bluetooth Speakers to pair with our Smartphone (Deer, 2012). Ditto too a cup of Coffee or Tea, should we be hiking in the Blue Mountains if you have a portable US$149.99 Biolite KettleCharge (Deer, 2014).
So what about portable Air Purifiers? They exist but are usually large bulky units that require frequent filter changes and not far off in appearance when compared to the US$2,999 Mac Pro Quad-Core (Deer, 2013).
But a new device, dubbed the Squair Portable Air Cleaner by its German Kickstarter research Team, aims to take advantage of the idea of using ionized Oxygen (O2) Atoms (Franco, 2014) to remove particulates from the air.
Squair on Kickstarter to raise US$98,200 – NTP to oxidize particulates out of the Air
The Squair went live on November 9th 2014 and is expected to go on sale on April 2015, the Squair Team is using kickstarter to raise some US$98,200 (€79,000) by December 9th 2014. Sad to say, they did not reach their funding goal, as only 197 backers pledged some US$34,561.59 (€28,800). The estimated final cost had they succeeded would have been in around US$297 (€239) when it shipped April 2015.
The idea is to use Cold Plasma, (Dusto, 2010), basically air molecules, particularly Oxygen (O2) that have been ionized and split into positive charged Cations and negatively charged Anions using bombardment by a stream of high energy Electrons in a mini vacuum.
These charged particles, called NTP (Non-Thermal Plasma) would electrostatically attach themselves to dust, pollen and other particulates in an enclosed room and rapidly oxidizing them. This reduces the particulates to oxides that are unable to irritate the gentle nasal cavities of humans in general.
According to Squair CEO Florian Windeler, their unit, which looks a lot like and is around the same size as an internal DVD Player used in a Desktop computer, can clean as much as 30 square meters (322 square feet) of air and has no filters or parts to clean and wash.
This may be because this device produces ionized Oxygen (O2) atoms at room temperature and doesn’t suck in air at one end and spew out purified air at the other. Carbon Monoxide (CO) would be rapidly oxidized to Carbon Dioxide (CO2), which is also toxic in high concentrations and also causes occupants in the room to fall asleep, just not permanently.
Squair claims to be a Bacteria and Virus Killer – High-Tech Lysol Spray
With such minimal maintenance, it still has the minor inconvenience of having to be plugged in, a problem that Squair CEO Florian Windeler says his team will solve via the introduction of a rechargeable battery, quote: “Our goal was to get a portable device that is good enough for most bedrooms, offices, hotel rooms and of course cars”.
More interesting is the research of the Squaire Design Team (Squair, 2014) as well as independent research (Ermolaeva1, Varfolomeev, 2010) that suggests that Cold Plasma can kill bacteria like salmonella, the very tough staph bacteria and even SARS and bird flu viruses. This is a very strong claim from a product that appears to be no different from just spraying the air with Lysol and yet claims to kill airborne viruses on contact at a nanoscopic scale.
Strictly speaking, viruses and bacteria cannot be airborne; they basically hitch are ride in aerosolized particles of a liquid suspension, such as phlegm or spit. Possibly, if the aerosolized liquid is spread far enough apart, these nanoscopic ionized molecules of Oxygen (O2) can effective oxidize the liquid suspension and the bacteria riding within these microscopic particles of liquid.
But if it works at such a minute level, could it possibly have an effect on humans?
Squair Cold Plasma has Human concerns – Possible Eye and Skin Irritation if room sealed
Then there is the concern as it relates to its effects on humans. If it rapidly oxidizes small particulates and bacteria to harmless oxide dust, what would it do your the cells in your lung’s Alveoli if you were to inhale? Remember, this device pumps out ionized Oxygen (O2) and to work properly, the room would ideally have to be sealed to allow the Oxygen (O2) to permeate every inch of the room.
I can see this being used to clean odour causing bacteria in a Processor Fabrication room, an Environmental control for a mini-Server Room, a Hospital’s Operating Theatre or even a Car to take care of those bad odours. Heck, combined with Solar Panels, it could even be used as an alternative to refrigeration in Third World Countries since it could be built into a box like device and oxidize salmonella and even E. coli to death.
But as I suspect, to do so while people are inside of that room may have potentially unforeseen side effects. I’m thinking simple stuff like itching or drying skin and dryness of the Retina, ears and possibly the lips and anus, the areas of the body that I can think of that have exposed soft body tissue.
More serious side effects may include choking to death and even rapid ageing of the skin, resulting in psoriasis like symptoms and even death if it oxidizes Propane or Butane that’s leaking from a Gas Stove or worse from an unseen Gas leak in the house. Rapid oxidization is the equivalent of lighting a match, just without the initial bright spark.; this definitely couldn’t be used in a clean room where the production of Hydrogen (H2) Gas in involved!
So if it really works as advertised, then I’ll be the first in line to get a Squair, preferably the rechargeable version. Otherwise, the Squair Portable Air Cleaner may actually be only good for sterilizing a room full of inanimate objects except humans, as the resulting psoriasis-like skin symptoms and eye irritation that create environmental conditions unsuitable for humans to work comfortably and in the worst case scenario, can create explosions.
- Ermolaeva1, S., Varfolomeev, A. (2010). Bactericidal effects of non-thermal argon plasma in vitro, in biofilms and in the animal model of infected wounds, 60 (1), 75-83. Retrieved from http://jmm.sgmjournals.org/content/60/1/75
- Dusto, A. (2010, December 18). Cold Plasma Kills Bacteria Better Than Antibiotics. Retrieved from http://news.discovery.com/tech/biotechnology/cold-plasma-kills-bacteria-better-than-antibiotics.htm
- Deer, L. (2012, June 10). Apple patents Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds as Wireless Bluetooth Speakers take Flig. Retrieved from http://www.geezam.com/apple-patents-wireless-bluetooth-earbuds/
- Deer, L. (2013, October 25). Apple launches Retina display 13-inch and 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro and the Apple Mac Pro – Expensive upgrades with Graphics and Programming Professionals in mind. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2013/10/apple-launches-retina-dipslay-13-inch.html
- Deer, L. (2014, November 8). US$149.99 Biolite KettleCharge – How a Kettle can recharge your Smartphone or Tablet during a Hurricane. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/08/us14999-biolite-kettlecharge-how-kettle.html
- Franco, M. (2014, November 11). A home air purifier with a cool twist — cold plasma. Retrieved from http://www.cnet.com/news/portable-squair-uses-cold-plasma-to-clean-your-air/
- Squair. (2014, November 11). The System Squair. Retrieved from http://www.squair3.com/download/SYSTEMSQUAIR.pdf