Guest: Christian Weeks | CEO | enVerid Systems
Category: ☁️ Carbon | Air Quality
Podcast’s Essential Bites:
[8:49] CW: "The underlying technology that enVerid has developed [...] is a sorbent media technology. [...] A sorbent [...] is basically a material that is designed to capture a particular gas or a mix of gasses from the air. What happens is as air passes over a sorbent, [...] the gas molecules in the air stream chemically stick or bond to the media and are held by the media. [...] The core innovation is a specific sorbent media blend that we've developed to address a wide range of gaseous contaminants that ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) has identified as contaminants of concern."
[13:36] CW: "CO2 [...] does not need to be controlled under the ASHRAE standard [...], but many people [...] are concerned about CO2. And so we have a version of our unit that also removes CO2. But when we do that, because CO2 is in buildings at parts per million levels, much higher levels than gasses, which are parts per billion, our filters do fill up, saturated with CO2 molecules. [...] We can use heat to re-excite those molecules that we're holding on to and release them. What we do is we vent them outside the building. That way we essentially recharge the filter. [...] It's essentially a more efficient way to capture CO2 and vent it outside the building than traditional dilution ventilation."
[20:01] CW: "Our approach to trying to make buildings more energy efficient is to introduce this concept of cleaning indoor air, rather than just relying on outside air ventilation. And that's something that's a bit of a paradigm shift for the industry. [...] Outside air is really energy intensive."
[21:49] "This concept we've been working on for a while [is] called sustainable indoor air quality. That is, how do we deliver better indoor air quality, that is also more energy efficient, and improves buildings' resilience to outdoor air pollution. And we think this is really relevant today, because of the [...] heightened focus on indoor air quality as a result of the pandemic. At the same time, we've got this climate agenda, [where] the drums are being louder and louder around building decarb, electrification, all these things. And there's concerns about indoor air, outdoor air quality [e.g. through wildfires]."
[27:31] CW: "We believe that we should start by defining what we mean when we say we want better indoor air quality. [...] One of the metrics that [...] was discussed a lot during the pandemic [...] was this notion of equivalent air changes per hour. [...] Air changes per hour [...] generally refers to the number of times in an hour that all the air in a space is replaced, usually associated with ventilation air. [...] The notion there is that if we replace all the air, it's going to be clean, it's going to be fresh, it's going to be safe and healthy. [...] There are other ways to have clean indoor air, we can filter that air, we can disinfect it. [...] The goal is, let's say, six air changes per hour, but let's not limit ourselves to only achieving that with ventilation air."
[43:57] CW: "Step two is clean indoor air and step three is the optimized ventilation. [...] We call it the clean first framework. [...] Just like in other parts of our lives, generally recycling things is a better starting point than just throwing everything out and replacing it with something new. So what we're suggesting is, we have a target, let's see how close to that target we can get by cleaning the indoor air. And then let's add the ventilation on top of that to supplement that to make sure we maintain building pressurization appropriately."
[54:27] CW: "Our order [of the last step] is validate, monitoring, control. And the reason for that is that we want to make sure that these air cleaning systems that we've deployed are doing their job once the building comes online."
White Paper: "How to Achieve Sustainable Indoor Air Quality" (enVerid, 2022)