The PURE project air purification technology development confirms Comau’s commitment to sustainability

Grugliasco (Turin), June 5, 2022 – 2022 World Environmental Day theme “Only One Earth” is a good opportunity to inspire everyone to celebrate the planet and shine a spotlight on climate action, nature and air pollution abatement actions while encouraging everyone, everywhere to live sustainably.

In response to the increased attention to these topics Comau, together with ISCLEANAIR, FAGOR ARRASATE and CEA, has leveraged the combined expertise to develop an innovative air purification technology (APA – Air Pollution Abatement system) able to naturally absorb and eliminate the majority of air contaminants present in manufacturing environments. Known as PURE, the jointly developed 2021 European Project aimed to industrialize and commercialize a patented, water-based, filterless technology to be installed at surface level and distributed in the areas of risk inside industrial spaces and the working places, close to the workers. The APA technology allows companies of all sizes to both improve the air purity of their industrial premises and enhance the well-being of their workers. In this context, PURE has completed its first test case with independently measured positive results.

A total of five prototype APA systems were installed at the FAGOR Arrasate Plant in Spain, a technological leader in the design and manufacturing of pressing and stamping systems, sheet metal cutting and processing lines, and metal parts processing equipment.  The pilot project has shown that in every scenario, the degree of particulate matter (PM) was significantly reduced when the APA systems were running. In particular, during painting operations that emit a lot of PMs, an abatement exceeding 50% was observed for all PM types. The same observation can be made for PM10 in the case of polishing and putty filling, which are strong sources of contaminants. These results validate the capability of the APA system to reduce PM pollution during industrial operations.

Similarly, Total Volatile Organic Compound (TVOC) abatement was observed in the case of painting, polishing and putty filling activities, which were identified as significant sources of VOCs during the reference period. TVOC abatement of more than 60% was observed for polishing and putty filling, and more than 40% for painting.

Giovanni Di Stefano, Head of Advanced Robotics and Digital Solutions at Comau, underscored the significance of the pan-European project as part of the company’s commitment to sustainability. “The early results of our ability to abate pollutants within an industrial setting are astonishing and reflect Comau’s pledge to put the environment at the center of our development plan. APA technology aims to eliminate, in a natural way, air contaminants that are present or produced during the manufacturing process.”

The innovative APA system offers an important and prominent tool in helping achieve the United Nation’s ninth global Sustainable Development Goal related to Industry, Innovation and infrastructure (targets 9.1 and 9.4) in particular. It is based on an easy and effective filterless technology that uses simple water to purify the air from contamination, pollution and harmful micro-organisms such as viruses. Through the developed PURE monitoring platform, we can also understand the behavior of the air pollution abatement activities and keep a history of the dynamics and contamination events. By using standard pre- or post-processed water that is safely returned to the environment, the APA system is waste-free and ultra-sustainable.

Thanks to Comau’s long experience and know-how in the industrial manufacturing sector, as well as to the advanced technologies and competencies put in place by the partners participating in the PURE project, the system was finalized at the beginning of 2022.

With this project, Comau and the Consortium contribute concretely to achieving several United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3, 9, 11, 13 and 17 which, through the implementation of robust partnerships and global cooperation, promote the construction of resilient, innovative and sustainable infrastructure and the adoption of an environmentally friendly approach.