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Air purity – and how to use natural processes to enhance it

Air purity is such an important part of what we believe in at Viveur, bringing the best quality of life to our clients. This article describes one of the most awesome ways we simulate nature’s own cleaning process in our ambiences.

“Photo-calytic oxidation” is the name given to an air purifying technology discovered by NASA and tested in 2016, as described here. The NASA test results are here

The fascinating thing about this technology is that it begins with light, and acts the same way as the sun does in the atmosphere. We use this technology in our Volante Puro product.


So here’s a technical explanation of how it works:

Photo-catalytic oxidation for air purity

Photo-catalytic oxidation happens when UV light rays are directed at a Titanium Oxide (TiO2) coated surface. This surface acts as a catalyst, (a catalyst is an item that helps a chemical process to happen). As the UV light shines on the catalyst, electrons are produced. These electrons react with the moisture in the air, to create highly reactive elements called hydroxyl radicals. These elements dynamically combine with harmful elements in the air, such as bacteria and VOCs. Once combined, a chemical reaction takes place between the super-charged ion and the pollutant. This breaks the pollutant down into harmless carbon dioxide and water, leaving no by-products and a pure atmosphere.

Research by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that “Destruction efficiencies in excess of 99% are possible in the PCO system.” This is an extremely high effectiveness rate and shows how valuable this process is to air quality. Not only that, but the process has other advantages over other methods of cleansing:

  • Operates at ambient or near-ambient temperature and pressure
  • Uses a safe non-toxic catalyst (Titanium Dioxide)
  • Creates no nitrogen oxide byproducts
  • Treats very low, but often harmful, concentrations of pollutants effectively
  • Employs a modular design
  • Eliminates rather than transfers the toxicity of pollutant 
  • Requires very low energy resources

More reading from the NREL air quality test here.

Additional effects

Another effect of the PCO technology is to kill pathogen organisms and hence many viruses. The technology we use has been tested not only on Covid-19 but previously on the Norwalk virus, SARS, norovirus, and others and it has a devastating effect on all of them. 

Combined together these effects are extremely powerful, and offer our clients the assurance of a safe and healthy environment, and an enjoyable living experience every day of the year. This technology is part of all the ambiences we offer.