If you’re familiar with traditional air cleaners, you know they work by filtering particulate matter out of the air.
But according to the folks over at Molekule, they’ve created the world’s first molecular air purifier that doesn’t just capture pollutants, it eliminates them—including allergens, airborne chemicals (VOCs), mold, viruses, and bacteria. Not only this, but Molekule is also portable, much quieter, and can be monitored and controlled via its companion app.
In a nutshell, here’s how it works (we’ll go into more detail in a second): Molecule’s intake pulls in 360° of air. As this air passes over a patent pending light-activated nano-filter, any harmful pollutants not caught by the prefilter are turned into harmless elements at the molecular level. Then, this sanitized air exits Molekule into the surrounding room.
Although Molekule claims their technology is based on 20 years of research and development, does this necessarily mean that the purifier will work better than traditional options? Even then, will it deliver a solid level of value?
To begin, let’s take a look at Molekule’s finer details.
How Does Molekule Purify Air?
Made from machined aluminum, each Molekule air purifier is 23” H x 8.25” in diameter and weighs 18 pounds. On its top, you’ll find a natural leather handle that allows you to move the purifier wherever it’s needed.
Speaking of which, the manufacturer recommends one Molekule per 600 square feet, while placing it in areas where you spend most of your time, especially close to your bedside at night. This way, it can help you wake up feeling refreshed in the mornings.
When in use, Molekule feature three operation modes:
- Silent (30dBa, or about as loud as a whispered conversation) – Although it still operates efficiently, this mode is meant to maximize quietness.
- Turbo Boost (55dBa, or normal conversation) – Boost focuses more on cleaning the room “extremely quickly.”
- Auto (42dBa, or a hushed conversation) – Here, Molekule will determine when the air needs a quick clean, based on factors like the number of pets present, size of the room, and more.
The Molekule air purifier.
Each of these settings can be adjusted directly via Molekule’s touchscreen display. Or, using your home’s Wi-Fi connection, your device can connect to the companion app, which can report metrics for each cleaning cycle, select the operation modes above, and report remaining filter life for both filters. Built-in sensors will also order new filters as needed, which will arrive directly on your doorstep.
We’re even told Molekule’s app will, over time, “increase in intelligence to report surrounding air quality metrics (both indoors and outdoors).”
Molekule’s Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) Technology
Most air purifiers work using HEPA filters to trap 99.97% of airborne particles 0.3 micrometers (µm) in diameter (several hundred times smaller than the thickness of a human hair), depending on the filter’s size and quality. However, this process only traps particulate matter, but doesn’t eliminate it.
Comparatively, Molekule uses proprietary technology called PECO (Photo Electrochemical Oxidation) to literally disassemble pollutants at the molecular level and convert them into nontoxic elements—without creating ozone. We’re told this technology was developed over the course of two decades, and that it’s able to destroy pollutants 1,000 times smaller than HEPA filters (0.1 nanometers), including VOCs and viruses.
According to the company, this means that Molekule is the “only product that eradicates the full spectrum of indoor air pollutants.” Here’s how the company explains it:
“This is done by creating a catalytic reaction that happens when a nanoparticle-coated filter is activated by light. Pollutants are broken down into their most basic molecular components, making them safe for us to breathe.”
Overall, the process works over 4 steps:
- First, Molekule’s air intake draws in air from all 360° at once.
- Then, this air is circulated first through the pre-filter, which traps “larger allergens like dust, pollen, and dander.”
- Next, the PECO technology goes to work breaking down harmful pollutants to their most basic molecular components.
- Last, Molekule will leave your room pollution-free in minutes.
Molekule's 4-stage purification process is claimed to eradicate the full spectrum of indoor air pollutants.
The manufacturer claims that Molekule has been extensively tested by third party laboratories, including the University of Minnesota and the University of South Florida, some of which have been shown to complete eliminate 3.9 million E. Coli in a single pass. A few white papers supporting these claims are listed on the Molekule website, and we were also able to dig up a PECO technology review elsewhere online.
Will Molekule’s PECO technology cost you an arm and a leg?
How Much Does Molekule Cost?
No prices were listed on the Molekule website at the time of our research, as the second product run sold out in 10 days. Currently, you’ll have to sign up for updates when the third batch is ready to go.
However, several third-party websites (more soon) indicated the preorder price is $499, which will supposedly increase to $799 in early 2017. You’ll also pay $20 for shipping.
For this price, you’ll receive one pre-installed nano-filter and pre-filter, as well as a power cable and handle. You’ll also get your first year of filters free. If you need to purchase filters individually, they’ll cost you:
- Pre-Filter: $12 (3 months average life)
Nano-Filter: $99 (1 year average life)
Alternately, you can choose to get as many filters as you need for $99 per year.
All Molekule purchases come with a 60-day refund policy, less S&H charges, as well as a 1-year limited warranty.
Given its technology and price point, are customers pleased with the performance of their Molekule air purifier?
Are There Any Online Molekule Customer Reviews Yet?
Although two batches of Molekule purifiers had been released before our research, we didn’t encounter any direct customer feedback. The device’s PECO technology is also proprietary, so there wasn’t any feedback about this, either.
Based on this new technology, we found that several popular media outlets provided reviews on Molekule, including PC Mag, The Verge, SlashGear, Engadget, and many others. However, these were all high-level reviews, without any first-person, hands-on feedback.
Customer review aside, who’s responsible for the Molekule purifier?
Who Invented the Molekule Air Purifier?
The PECO technology behind Molekule was originally invented by Dr. Yogi Goswami, a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of South Florida, using principles of solar technology, light, and nanotechnology—along with two decades of research, patents, and publication.
Today, Dr. Goswami’s son, Dilip Goswami, has taken this technology and “enlisted some of the brightest minds in applied science, engineering, and design” to implement it into Molekule, a device the company believes has the ability to help millions of people breathe better. Because of this, the company is on a mission to “eliminate indoor air pollution, in every home, for everyone,” and to ADAPT the technology behind Molekule for use in businesses, hospitals, airplanes, and more.
Does all of this mean you should buy a Molekule air purifier?
Is Molekule the Right Air Purifier for You?
Whether you’re searching online or at a brick-and-mortar retailer near you, the fact of the matter is that you can typically pick up a high-quality HEPA-based air purifier for anywhere between $100 and $200—which is up to 80% less expensive than Molekule.
However, as we often say here at HighYa, price is only one factor in determining overall value. The second part of the equation is how much use you’ll get out of Molekule, as well as the potential health benefits it can provide. Here are a couple admittedly simplistic examples to outline what we mean:
- Are you just looking for something to remove dust and other larger particulate matter from the air inside your home or office? Something that might be able to deliver the most bang for your buck? In an instance like this, it might be difficult to go wrong with a traditional air purifier.
- On the other hand, do you have allergy sufferers in your home? Are you looking to get rid of the most allergens possible—including airborne chemicals, viruses, and bacteria? Due to the fact that Molekule’s PECO technology can destroy matter hundreds of times smaller than a HEPA filter, its high price might be worth the much-improved performance.
Did Molekule deliver noticeable results in the air you breathe? Did you feel the physical effects of cleaner air, or do you feel it was a waste of money? Whatever happened, tell our 2,000,000+ monthly readers all about it in your review below!
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19 out 19 people found this review helpful
So far so good, seems like a nice product
So I've had the Molekule air cleaner for about a week now and so far so good.
The first two days it did produce a kind of sweet, almost ozone-smelling odor. They warn in the documentation that it needs to burn off manufacturing dust at first, but all I know is the scent, which was never unpleasant, has indeed largely disappeared after the first few days.
The unit is attractive, and the touchscreen is easy to use. It seems well built and solid.
A few times I noticed that shortly after starting it up, it suddenly rebooted all on its own. It did reboot into full operation, so it wasn't really a problem, and I contacted their support and got a very nice and speedy reply that they were aware of a software glitch and planned on issuing a fix in a month or so. Not a big deal anyway, as it only happened a couple of times and immediately resolved itself.
As the unit is expensive and I can't afford to put several throughout the house, I've been running it in the main room we use all day, but moving it from time to time to other rooms for various periods to clean the air there as well.
In general, the air does seem cleaner. I don't have any independent method to test the air quality, just the general scents in the house and less overall congestion. I think I would get a better result if I could afford multiple units to place around, but moving this one around seems to work ok.
We'll have to see over time how the unit fairs with regular use and how long the filters actually last, but for now, I'm pretty happy with it and would suggest it to others.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend