AsianScientist (Sep. 22, 2020) – Even before the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated long hours spent staying at home, most of modern life was already lived indoors. But being indoors doesn’t mean that we’re safe from pollution. In addition to air pollutants generated by our indoor activities, indoor air quality (IAQ) is also affected by and can sometimes be worse than outdoor air pollution, with poor IAQ having detrimental effects on health and productivity.
Across the world, growing awareness of the profound effects of air quality has driven the demand for good IAQ and the technology that can provide it. Acknowledging the importance of maintaining clean air indoors, more countries are also beginning to enforce green building regulations that set the standards for IAQ. Combined with individual consumer demand, these regulatory policies drive much of the demand for IAQ solutions.
Systems that rely on air cleaning and ventilation have long been a reliable strategy to improve indoor air quality, but there is room for improvement in their operational costs and environmental friendliness. Research institutes and technology companies around the world recognise this need, and the IAQ technology market is thriving with innovations.
To provide insight into the IAQ technology market, including opportunities across the air cleaning value chain and potential gaps where new innovations can make an impact, technology managers at IPI have conducted a landscape analysis of current and advancing multi-functional technology developments that help maintain indoor air quality. Their findings are published in a white paper titled Clearing The Air.
The challenge of maintaining indoor air quality
While the three main existing IAQ maintenance strategies of controlling pollution sources, air ventilation and air cleaning have served us well, they each have their drawbacks. Some sources of pollution are inevitable, such as those related to human occupancy. Furthermore, air ventilation and air cleaning systems involve high maintenance and energy costs, making them less attractive for small enterprises or low-income households. Besides that, the diversity of air pollutants also means that effective air purification requires a combination of different air cleaning technologies, further increasing the cost and complexity of maintaining good IAQ.
IAQ maintenance may be a multi-faceted challenge, but that means there are plenty of opportunities for technological innovations and market players to step in. As both consumer and regulatory demands for good indoor air continue to rise, there is a need for new technology solutions that can efficiently maintain IAQ, balancing optimal performance with energy efficiency. In particular, new IAQ solutions that possess comprehensive, multi-functional capabilities that unify multiple strategies to optimise indoor air purification are in high demand.
Opportunities across Asia
The IAQ solutions market is rapidly growing, with Asia Pacific forecasted to be the fastest growing one thanks to increasing demand for better IAQ in China and South East Asia. Environmental sustainability regulations, such as those in Singapore and China mandating green buildings with good IAQ, will further drive the IAQs solutions market. This thriving demand is particularly encouraging for players all along the air cleaning value chain, from producers to end users.
For innovators and researchers, our survey of the patent landscape reveals some insights into the innovation activities and opportunities in the development of air cleaning technologies. In line with recent years, there has been an increasing trend in patent applications and publications relevant to air cleaning materials, with current key inventions relating largely to the development of air cleaning systems and their components, such as filtration, catalytic oxidation and biological materials.
Join the journey to cleaner indoor air
The COVID-19 pandemic has put IAQ into the spotlight, and the demand for clean indoor air and IAQ technologies will continue to rise. To find out more about the technologies transforming indoor air quality and how you could be part of it, download the white paper here.
Accompanying this white paper is a detailed market trend and technology landscape study report. For more information, please contact [email protected].
Asian Scientist Magazine is a media partner of Intellectual Property Intermediary (IPI) Singapore.