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What exactly is a molecular air purifier, you ask? The Molekule is an air purifier outfitted with Photo Electrochemical Oxidation technology – PECO for short – a pollutant and allergen removal system using light to excite a nano-coated filter, initiating a catalytic oxidation reaction that breaks down pollutant and allergen compounds to a molecular level.

This reaction supposedly results in the destruction of pollutants, converting unwanted allergens, mold, bacteria, viruses, and VOCs into harmless constituents of carbon dioxide, water, and trace minerals. The Molekule is also rated to filter indoor environments down to 0.1 nanometers, 1,000x smaller than a traditional HEPA filter system, theoretically an allergy sufferers savior.

Molekule-filter

Air enters into the machined aluminum unit from all sides, first through a pre-filter to catch larger particles, then a nanoparticle-coated filter. There, light generates the PECO chemical reaction, breaking down pollutants into harmless components to be released from the vents up top.

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The Molekule’s matte-minimalist design is a definite improvement when compared to the typical air purification unit, bearing more than a passing resemblance to a premium wireless audio speaker by way of a Nordic eye (by the looks of that leather strap handle, the Molekule’s designers must be fans of B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen). But unlike other similarly shaped cylindrical units like the MUJI Jet Cleaning Air Purifier or the Dyson Pure Cool air purifier (a glass HEPA filter system), the app-operated Molekule cites its very own white paper for skeptics to review before dipping into the coffers to cover the pre-order price of $499.

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Gregory Han is Tech Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.