Swedish start-up launches air purification material for the art industry

Beige balls of material arrayed in open containers in an art studio

A cellulose-based material protects artwork and sensitive objects from degradation by air pollutants, explains research-based startup firm Adsorbi AB (originating from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden), which launched its first commercial product on 30 May. The adsorbing material is said to combine a long product lifetime with high security, making it ideal for museums and archives.

“Our research stems from art conservation where paintings, artifacts, and other sensitive objects are exposed to air pollutants, such as VOCs, and undergo irreversible changes upon prolonged exposure. Most of the pollutants are emitted from the objects themselves, making air purification in all types of storage of art vital,” said Dr. Kinga Grenda, CTO and Co-Founder of Adsorbi AB.

Currently, air pollution in museums is either ignored or the adsorbent activated carbon is used. The problem with using carbon in this environment is its short product lifetime and the risk of staining objects in collections.

Adsorbi’s material is described as a bio-based and high-performing adsorbent. The cellulose originates from Nordic forests and the production is in Europe. “The material is used to purify air in the storage and transportation of artwork,” said the announcement, “surpassing activated carbon in terms of durability and adsorption capacity. Other important features include the material’s colour indicator: the white material changes colour when it needs to be replaced, enabling optimised air purification.”

“We have developed a sustainable material tailored for capturing air pollutants in museums, galleries, and archives. Using the Adsorbi innovation as a base, we will soon launch new products for other industries in need of sustainable air pollution removal,” said Hanna Johansson, CEO and Co-Founder of Adsorbi AB.