Serionix recently received a $750,000 contract from NASA to fund continued development of filters to remove toxic gases from next-generation spacesuit life support systems.
Serionix creates high-performance filters based on a proprietary adsorptive coating technology called Colorfil™, which changes colors as it removes toxic chemicals and odors from air, while killing viruses, bacteria, and mold. Through an intuitive, vibrant color change, Colorfil™ lets users know when the filters are working and when they aren’t.
NASA’s next generation of spacesuit and Personal Life Support System (PLSS) demands ultra-high performance filtration to remove toxic chemicals that include ammonia and formaldehyde. The PLSS is used during extra-vehicular activities to keep astronauts safe, healthy, and comfortable. Because of the unique demands of spaceflight applications, every component of the PLSS must be as small, lightweight, and robust as possible. Enter Serionix and the color-changing air filters they have demonstrated now in applications ranging from pet- and cooking-odor removal to semiconductor chip manufacturing.
“We are excited for the opportunity to work with NASA to send our Colorfil technology into space,” James Langer, Serionix’s President, said.
“What’s truly exciting, however, is how the funding will indirectly support launch of consumer products based on the same core technology,” Langer continued. “For the most part, consumers today have almost no visibility on what filters actually do for them—making purchasing decisions difficult, and making it nearly impossible to determine when it’s time for replacement. With Colorfil, we are looking to change that.”
The first phase of Serionix’s project with NASA SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program began in June of 2016, and overlapped with the successful beta launch of their Colorfil™ air purifier and HVAC filters. In this second phase, Serionix will develop a demonstration unit suitable for incorporation into NASA’s spacesuit life support system. In the meantime, they will leverage partnerships with leading industrial players to launch products in residential, automotive, commercial, and high-end industrial applications.