Clearing the Air via Filtration


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As organizations across industries look for ways to combat COVID-19, Purafil has found its air filtration products and solutions in demand.

Like many businesses, COVID-19 forced Purafil, a Filtration Group company, to pivot. For instance, Purafil, with its expertise in engineering and manufacturing air filtration solutions, ordinarily would work heavily in the oil and gas industry. But those companies were hard-hit.

However, it’s led Purafil into discussions with organizations in new markets, including veterinary medicine, said Jeff Mathers, director of global marketing & strategy at Purafil. “It’s filled in the gaps where we’ve lost business, and helped us get back to where we want to be – growing compared to last year.”

Purafil has traditionally worked in providing corrosion control or odor control solutions for customers. In the healthcare space, a lot of Purafil’s pre-COVID business involved filtering out the smoke and exhaust of helicopters landing atop hospital helipads so the gases wouldn’t reach surgical suites.

Since COVID, Purafil launched the PuraShield line of products which took industrial-grade filtration technology and put it in smaller, more accessible scrubbers. This line has received interest from several industries because of its patented molecular media that’s tested against H1N1 and MS2. The company also has a product called Puraward that’s received interest. Puraward is a non-woven material with copper and silver ions embedded into it. It’s placed in a HEPA filter to remove aerosols carrying viruses and bacteria. “So you have a pre-filter, you have our molecular filter which oxidizes molecules – then it goes through a Puraward embedded HEPA filter which has an EPA-registered antimicrobial ingredient in it.”

With the emergence of COVID, people are very conscious about washing hands, wearing masks, and sanitizing surfaces. “But what they sometimes don’t think about is that this virus is airborne, and you need to disinfect and sanitize the air as well,” said Mathers. Recent studies have shown that without proper filtration, COVID-19 can spread through HVAC systems because the virus is small and can aerosolize. “That’s where we come in,” Mathers said. “We want to be a piece of the solution. We aren’t a total solution, but we are a piece of that solution.”

Although cleaning the air isn’t a visible feature for an office or facility, Purafil can provide signs for the lobby with detailed information of how their air filtration unit removes targeted viruses and bacteria to help ease patient or customer anxiety. “This lets patients, customers, and guests know that these businesses are helping to not only clean the surfaces that are being touched, but they’re taking care of the air in that space. So it’s another level of protection.”

New markets

In healthcare, Purafil has had to reposition to a different call point. “We’re not talking to the facilities manager who is worried about the air filtration throughout the hospital,” Mathers said. “Now we’re talking to the infection control practitioners at these places.

“The way we’re looking at our marketing campaign is we’re starting at the front line – where do people need these the most?” Mathers continued. “It’s acute care facilities, food processing plants, mass transit facilities, and senior living facilities. And then as you move out from the front lines, it’s more about small businesses and back-to-business operations. That’s where I think veterinary clinics come in.”

Mathers said Purafil has received calls from healthcare providers such as hospitals, senior living facilities, urgent care centers, and specialists. Small businesses including restaurants, yoga studios, gyms, etc., have also expressed interest.

In the veterinary hospital space, Mathers said Purafil’s technology could have multiple uses. “These units that we’re selling now, not only are they good for combating COVID-19 but in pet areas, they are also very good with odor, so you can repurpose the filters once we’re through this pandemic. You can repurpose the filters for allergens and pet odors. You can also put more carbon in. We do other kinds of media that help with that as well.”

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