Environmental Protection

Corning Receives European Commission Horizon 2020 Materials for Clean Air Award

Corning Receives European Commission Horizon Award

Corning Incorporated has received the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Materials for Clean Air Award for developing an innovative solution to reduce particulate matter in the air. The award is accompanied by a prize of 3 million euros, which Corning will use to determine the solution’s future market viability.

"Our current Air Purification system is a prototype," said David Morse, Corning’s chief technology officer. "The 3-million-euros prize will help us build a full-size demonstration unit that we may install in Europe to help us accelerate our understanding of the European market, an important requisite to help determine commercialization."

Corning developed the Air Purification Filter (APF) to address concerns expressed by the European Commission (EU) over health risks associated with poor air quality. The EU anticipates the average life expectancy to decrease by 8.6 months due to exposure to particulate matter in the air resulting from human activity.

Particulate matter (PM) is defined as microscopic solid and liquid particles – such as organic compounds, metals, dust, pollen, and mold – suspended in the air. Due to its small size, PM can be easily inhaled by humans and lead to health concerns like asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory disease, among other negative health outcomes.

Building on decades of experience in particulate remediation for automotive exhaust, Corning developed a new technology to reduce or maintain particulate matter levels below the World Health Organization guidelines. The technology was developed by teams at Corning Research Center China and the Corning European Technology Center.

The system works by using fans to funnel incoming polluted air through the inlet channels of ceramic porous honeycomb filters which trap the PM on its porous walls allowing clean air to exit through the open outlet channels and be released into the environment.

"This award recognizes the innovative and collaborative work of Corning's research, development, and engineering teams in Europe and China," Morse said. "These teams successfully evolved the mobile emissions particulate filter technology that we invented 40 years ago into a prototype that can be used for indoor air ventilation systems and large outdoor air treatment systems to help clean particulate matter from the air, even in urban areas where levels are highest."

Corning's materials and process expertise, combined with our global market understanding, have made us key contributors to the campaign for cleaner air. The new air purification technology for indoor air ventilation systems and large outdoor air treatment systems highlights Corning's dedication to sustainability and our commitment to clean air.