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EPA Awards Grant to Clarkson University to Study Effectiveness of New Air Purification System

Philip K. Hopke, the Bayard D. Clarkson distinguished professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering; Andrea R. Ferro, assistant professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering; and Peter A. Jaques, assistant professor of Biology, will place 45 units in bedrooms of children who suffer from asthma or other upper respiratory illnesses. The researchers will then measure the effectiveness of the units at improving air quality within the room and the occupant's health.

The units will be placed in the subjects' homes this summer and testing will continue through late fall. Air Innovations and Clarkson will analyze the health, and environmental and energy impacts in December 2007. A final report will be completed in March 2008.

Air Innovations developed the IERVs in response to the dramatic increase in asthma and sick building syndrome which can be a result of stricter energy efficiency requirements that have made some buildings much "tighter" with less ventilation.

The IERVs are packaged, portable air conditioners that provide both cooling and heat to the room. High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters trap airborne particles that could harbor micro-organisms and other allergens. The unit also brings in fresh air and creates a positive pressure to bar airborne pollutants from migrating into the room from other spaces.

The TAD awards were presented Monday, March 19, at Air Innovations' headquarters. In addition to TAD award recipients from four other companies, attendees at the ceremony included Congressman Jim Walsh, 25 Congressional District; Edward A. Bogucz Jr., executive director, Syracuse Center of Excellence; Irwin L. Davis, president and chief executive officer, Metropolitan Development Association (MDA) of Syracuse, and Central New York; Lee Davis, Chairman, New York Indoor Environmental Quality (NYIEQ) Inc.; and Tony G. Collins, Clarkson University President, Syracuse CoE Advisory Board member, MDA board member, Syracuse CoE OIC board member.

Air Innovations is a custom solution provider of specialized air conditioning systems and environmental control units. Air Innovations is a world-wide leader in the design and manufacture of custom air conditioning systems and precision environmental control units for cleanrooms and other critical mini-environments.

The Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (Syracuse (CoE) is a federation of firms, organizations and institutions that creates innovations to improve health, productivity, security and sustainability in built and urban environments. The Syracuse CoE's scope of application interests include systems that monitor and control thermal comfort, air quality, lighting, sound, and water quality and innovative energy systems, including clean technologies and renewable fuel sources.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty achieves international recognition for their research and scholarship and connects students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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