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Thursday, January 26, 2017, 12:30

Rocket designers set crosshairs on new air purifiers

By Zhao Lei

Chinese carrier rocket designers are using their knowledge and expertise to tap into the public's demand for fresh and clean air.

The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology in Beijing, a major developer of the nation's carrier rockets and ballistic missiles, will soon put on the market an air purifier that developers say incorporates a host of cutting-edge technologies used on rockets.

Beijing Ares Technology Co, a subsidiary of the academy responsible for the development and marketing of air purifiers, has sold 10,000 Alpha-blue air purifiers, developed by rocket designers, to space industry workers and will launch 5,000 sets on the open market after the coming Chinese New Year.

Wang Libo, chairman of Beijing Ares Technology, said on Wednesday that he expects the product to be popular because it has better capabilities compared with other air purifiers of its kind on the Chinese market, while being reasonably priced.

"Compared with other purifiers of its size, the Alpha-blue has a much higher rate of delivering clear air and absorbing formaldehyde in a given period of time because we powder-coat its filter screens with nanoplatinum particles that are widely used in rocket production," he said.

"We also made use of our designers' knowledge of aerodynamics that they gained through the making of rocket bodies and engines to design the air purifier's intakes and outlets to ensure it has better air circulation compared with other products," Wang added.

In addition, composite materials and remote control technologies adopted by Chinese carrier rockets have also been used in Alpha-blue, according to Wang.

An Alpha-blue air purifier sells for 4,999 yuan (US$727), much less than other purifiers with its capacity, which usually have a price of at least 8,000 yuan, he said.

"The academy has been transferring its space technologies to medical air purification for many years and has served a lot of hospitals. Now we want to help the public get rid of PM2.5," he explained, referring to the most feared pollutant in Chinese cities - particulate matter with a diameter smaller than 2.5 microns that can penetrate the lungs and seriously harm health.

Several agents have signed contracts with Ares Technology, while the company is also developing a store on Taobao, the most popular online shopping website in China, Wang said.

Zhao Xiaozhuo, an electronic engineer at China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology who took part in the development of the nation's newest Long March 5 and Long March 7 carrier rockets, said he adopted monitor equipment used on rockets for the Alpha-blue that allows users to monitor and control the machine anywhere and anytime.

He added that the Alpha-blue's capabilities have been measured by China's top quality certification firm and the test results show it has better performance than most purifiers on the Chinese market.

 
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