University of Minnesota Study Shows That Molekule Air Mini Inactivates Flu Virus and More

Updated on June 16, 2021


University of Minnesota (UMN) researchers tested the Molekule Air Mini units against animal coronaviruses (porcine/ bovine) and an H1N1 flu virus in a lab study. During the controlled study, the university used methods which provide clear results on the effectiveness of the units under operating conditions used by consumers.

Frequently, air purifiers are tested in small rooms, not representative of real world environments, where air cycles through the tested unit multiple times over the course of the test.  UMN testing was specifically developed to look at single pass (one-time) virus removal and to detect bypass, a common problem that many air purifiers have that is currently overlooked in many testing methods.  Bypass leads to air passing through the device without passing through the filter, making an air purifier less efficient.

The study took place in a sealed, calibrated wind tunnel in a BioSafety Level II facility, to provide precise results around the effectiveness of the air purifier as it relates to viable porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCV), bovine coronavirus (BCoV), and influenza A virus reduction in the air. The goal was to understand the efficiency of the unit in specific regards to these virus particles. Testing was carried out by aerosol experts in the College of Science and Engineering and animal disease experts from the College of Veterinary Medicine. While veterinary medicine may seem unrelated to air quality for humans, it has a unique edge over many departments. Veterinary expertise in virology is put to the test repeatedly, as wild animals, pets, herds, and livestock experience viral outbreaks far more frequently than humans and the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine has an established track record of success in studying airborne virus transmission in animals.  According to the University of Minnesota:

Increased understanding of aerosol transmission for viral respiratory infections, including SARS-CoV-2 and influenza infections, has dramatically grown interest in the efficacy of recirculating air purification systems as a means to increase the ventilation rate of indoor dwellings, thereby reducing infection rates.

The results for Molekule Air Mini unit testing were impressive.  Molekule Air Mini testing showed it both removes and inactivates up to 99.99 percent of the animal coronaviruses and H1N1 viruses in a single pass experiment. The coronaviruses used infect animals and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 infection humans. The University of Minnesota study further validates PECO technology’s efficiency in inactivating strains of coronavirus and H1N1 flu virus. These high single-pass combined collection and inactivation rates of up to 99.99 percent show just how effective the units are.  The results from the UMN study also showed 99.99 percent inactivation (within 4 hours) of bovine coronavirus collected on the PECO-Filter, with an enhanced inactivation rate over non-PECO filters. Molekule’s technology to date has not been tested on the Covid-19 virus. 

Viruses are known to transmit through the air, so air quality is still a concern in most indoor spaces.  The realization that transmission is happening with airborne particles has caused recommendations to include filtering and purifying air, as well as wearing masks and keeping a social distance of at least six feet. Interest has grown in ensuring that indoor spaces are more properly vented – especially during the cold months of winter when windows and doors aren’t typically opened to air out enclosed spaces.

 Molekule has stated in its communications that it encourages the use of PPE and medical countermeasures suggested by government authorities.

Molekule Air Mini and Air Mini+ were created for small offices, bedrooms, and other enclosed spaces. Customers were quick to notice improved air quality after use of Molekule Air Mini.  As flu season begins in the U.S., an emphasis should be placed on working toward quality air. Without proper ventilation, indoor air can have elevated concentrations of gaseous pollutants and particles. An air purifier like Molekule Air Mini collects and destroys or inactivates viruses and allergens, that can cause negative health issues.

Molekule statements encourage customers to remain as safe as possible in light of the pandemic. The company notes, “While we advocate that an air purifier be used in addition to coronavirus precautions like mask-wearing and social distancing, air purifiers can provide an important layer of additional protection to help reduce potential viral exposure. Molekule encourages the use of PPE and medical countermeasures suggested by government authorities.”  The company also states that “no air purifier can completely reduce the risk of exposure to viruses.” However, reducing the amount of viruses floating through the air means lowering the risk of exposure.

In a different Molekule review done on PECO technology, Molekule Dr. D. Goswami (chief scientist) and Dilip Goswami (CEO) noted:

Results indicate the efficacy of Molekule’s PECO technology on a broad range of indoor air pollutants, including VOCs, viruses, bacteria, and mold… Molekule’s PECO technology was tested for performance in destruction of a variety of airborne bacteria in both recirculating and single pass conditions.

…Staphylococcus aureus was used as the gram positive bacteria challenge pollutant in the recirculating configuration. Test protocol remained the same. Complete inactivation was observed prior to the second sampling at five minutes.

Molekule has relied on third-party testing, reviews, and scientific reports to verify the claims of Molekule regarding PECO technology and Air Mini units.

The largest Molekule unit (Air Pro RX) delivers purified air in critical spaces larger than 600 square feet. Air Pro RX is the first PECO air purifier with FDA 510(k) Class II Medical Device Clearance for use in healthcare settings. It has been used in operating rooms, emergency rooms, isolation units, and other high-traffic areas in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and healthcare facilities. While the devices are different, this same underlying PECO technology has been used to create the other Air units, including Air Mini.

Air Pro RX also satisfies the performance criteria outlined in the FDA guidance for use during the COVID-19 emergency to help reduce the risk of potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 virus. This means meeting requirements, like being able to produce quality air without producing ozone or disturbing airflow.

Molekule is on a mission to deliver clean air to everyone, everywhere.

The PECO technology and resulting Air, Mini, and Air Pro units are based on more than 25 years of intense scientific research. The Molekule company history runs deep with company leaders driven to find solutions for better air. “We envision a world with clean air in every room, in every home,” says Molekule.

This vision goes beyond the current pandemic, and the company is working to offer purified air no matter the circumstances.

With the public realization that air quality is extremely important for health, Molekule’s long term focus of reducing pollutants from the air has never been more relevant. These hot-ticket items have been popular choices for gifting or office upgrades due to concerns about air quality in indoor spaces.

Many throughout the world are facing an air quality crisis and have been for some time. Poor air quality is not limited to coronavirus threats, and effective air purifying will continue to be important for reducing pollutants and viruses in the air.

Molekule believes that PECO air purifying technology will revolutionize clean air all over the world – now and well into the future.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.