Carbon filters are filters that adsorb specific airborne chemicals (VOCs). VOCs are harmful, often carcinogenic, pollutants in households that derive from off-gassing of plastics and building materials, cleaning products, and many other sources. HEPA filters are unable to filter out VOCs and carbon filters are often added to HEPA filters in consumer air purifiers.
It's important to understand the nuance that while carbon filters adsorb VOCs, they don't absorb the chemicals. Adsorption attracts particles on the surface, but does not envelop them. This principle works for only a short period of time. After the filter reaches its low saturation point, the adsorbed chemicals break off the surface and are released back into the airstream.
Unlike carbon filters, Molekule's PECO technology destroys pollutants as the pass through the filter, instead of merely catching them. A nanoparticle coating on the filter, triggered by light, produces free radicals that break down the molecular structure of any organic compound, including VOCs, in a single pass.
Independent tests at the University of Minnesota Particle Calibration Laboratory show that PECO destroys VOCs quickly, unlike HEPA filters, which are unable to capture these small particles. Carbon filters are able to capture some VOCs initially; however, they quickly re-emit these same chemicals back into the air.
Learn more about how Molekule compares to HEPA filters.