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Bristol Business Develops Air Purifier to Battle COVID

December 28, 2021 6:05 am

A Bristol-based company has launched an air purifier that protects people from breathing in coronavirus particles, addressing an urgent need to protect against COVID-19 by producing the cleanest air possible. The innovation, developed in part by a long-time area resident, has been put into action right here in Bristol, helping keep residents safe and our indoor air clean.

About the Air Purifier

The technology, developed by Air Cleaners Inc., could play a critical role in adapting to life during a pandemic. Called the Clean Air Curtain, it uses a combination of HEPA filtration and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) with a high-velocity exhaust system to filters out particles and pathogens that spread the common cold and the flu, which any parent, teacher or healthcare worker can tell you is a much needed technology during the winter months here in New England. 

The Clean Air Curtain is designed for individual homes, offices, commercial spaces, and is meant to complement on-site HVAC systems.

How It Works

When Air Cleaners Inc. announced the design earlier this year, Chief Operating Officer Chis Ames explained in the official announcement that the HEPA filter captures nearly all (99.995%) particles in the air.

“The high-velocity vertical plume generated from our Clean Air Curtain provides a barrier, deflects airborne pathogens up and away from the area, and ensures the critically needed circulation for eliminating areas of high pathogen concentration,” said Ames. “No other device has ever combined these multiple benefits.”

Ames worked alongside Paul Bemis, president and CEO of Air Cleaners Inc., to develop the air purifier. Both Ames and Bemis are air flow experts and have past experience working on airflow modeling in various indoor environments. 

“It’s an all-New Hampshire solution,” Bemis told the New Hampshire Union Leader. He believes it will become “a competitive differentiator” for any business that wants to keep people safe indoors. Bemis is also working towards making the air purifier intuitive so it can recognize when there needs to be an adjustment or repair.

Local Invention

It’s great whenever we can recognize an innovation that was developed by a local. Bemis is a New Hampshire native who grew up in Warren and graduated from Plymouth Regional High School in 1974. Bemis went on to study at Keene State College and later transferred to the University of New Hampshire, where he received a degree in mechanical engineering. Bemis later went back to school to earn a degree in electrical engineering, attending Northeastern University night classes. 

Bemis gained his experience in airflow modeling at Fluent, a Lebanon, NH, company which was once the world’s largest producer of airflow modeling software. 

Air Purifier in Action

It’s one thing to invent an innovative way to purify the air. It’s another to see it in action. Here in Bristol, the Clean Air Curtain is in use at the Minot-Sleeper Library. It can also be found at Plymouth General Dentistry, Warren Elementary School, Very Excellent Chinese Restaurant and Newfound Grocery.

Brittany Overton, the director of the Minot-Sleeper Library, told the Union Leader, “Ever since the air cleaners were taken out of their boxes, plugged in and turned on, we’ve seen a difference in our air quality.” 

Learn more about the Clean Air Curtain in this interview with WMUR’s Fred Kocher.

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