LIFESTYLE - INTERVIEW
Monday, June 3, 2019
LIFESTYLE - INTERVIEW
by Mehmet Kaplan
The air contains not only the pollutants like as cigarette smoke, pollen, and dust, that we can see, but also it contains and transfers the harmful things that we can not see such as the viruses, bacteria, fungi, and chemicals. Whether you are at home, at school, or at work, you are always faced with these risks. Especially those whose immune systems are not as durable as healthy adults may be infected much more quickly because of dirty air. It is, therefore, more important to keep the air clean in the places where babies, children, and the elderly living in. Air purifiers are also the most effective solution. As in all industries, air cleaning technology is developing every day. They can now filter out much smaller particles, destroy viruses, and neutralize harmful chemicals. Radic 8, founded by Richard Greenwood, established a partnership with the Seoul-based clean air technology company INBair in 2016 and the Radic8-INBair Group was founded. With the new technologies they developed, Radic8-INBair Group became one of the world's leading companies in air purification and sterilisation technology. I talked with Richard Greenwood, Founder and CEO of Radic8, about innovative air purification and sterilisation technologies.
Richard, before talking about Radic8, could you tell us about your background and industry experiences? Who is Richard Greenwood?
For many years I was a consultant and owned my own consultancy firm. My consultancy started within the hospitality, and about ten years ago I was asked to help take a new technology to market, I both enjoyed it and excelled in it. From then on my consultancy specialism changed to commercialising new technologies and I worked with some amazing innovations around the World.
How did your interest in clean air technologies has begun? What inspired you?
Several years ago, my father developed COPD, and I knew it was very important to keep the air clean in his apartment as he spent nearly all his time in there. I only found filtration solutions with big claims and little technology, and I was now determined to figure out what the best solution on the market was for indoor air quality. The more I searched, the more I realised that the air purification industry was unregulated and there were many spurious claims about what filters could trap. I also realised how important it was to develop technology that could actually solve indoor air pollution as it was one of the biggest human health issues.
How did you come up with the idea of improving the features of standard air purifiers and create Radic8 air purification solutions?
I read many studies about HEPA filtration and activated carbon filters as these are 99% of the clean air solutions available on the market.
Purifying the air with HEPA and activated carbon is, in my opinion, not a very effective all round clean air technology solution. If particulate matter is the prime and only concern, then HEPA filtration is perfect, but air pollution is much more than just particulate matter.
To understand the solutions, we must understand the problem: Air pollution can be categorised in three segments, Dirty Air / Sick Air / Toxic Air.
Dirty air is the air that is pollution with particulate matter, dust, dander, pollen, cigarette smoke. You can trap dirty air with filters such as HEPA filters.
Sick air is the air that is pollution with bacteria, viruses, mould, and fungi. The most serious element of sick air are viruses, and they can not be trapped with HEPA filters. Bacteria, mould, and fungi can be trapped with HEPA filters, but the dust caught on them acts as the perfect food source, and Microbial contamination starts growing on HEPA filters in as little as 6 days! To adequately and safely deal with Sick Air, it must be destroyed.
Toxic air is air contaminated with VOC's, gases, and chemicals. Toxic air must be neutralised. ( Air purification manufacturers advise that their activated carbon filters will deal with toxic air, but activated carbon gets blocked very quickly and is rendered in-effective in a matter of weeks. It would take a ton of activated carbon to be effective for the lifespan given by most air purification manufacturers on their filters.)
The challenge was to find technology that could trap dirty air, destroy sick air, and neutralise toxic air.
Radic8 VIRUSKILLER Blue
Could you tell us about Radic8 and your collaboration with INBair?
I found INBair in 2016 and quickly realised that they had the best clean air technologies that I had ever seen. I immediately jumped on a plane and heading to Seoul to go and see them in order to learn more.
Upon reaching INBair head offices, I was warmly welcomed and found a team of expert engineers, proud manufacturers, and a highly intelligent and creative leadership team in Kenn and Suzie Lee, a perfect combination!
It became apparent that they needed my development and global commercialisation skills as much as I needed their core technologies, so we teamed up. It has been and still is the best business relationship that I have ever experienced, and we have now set up the Radic8-INBair Group.
We conceptualise and design the products in the UK, INBair engineer and manufacture the products, finally Radic8 market the products.
With your innovative solutions, you have won many notable awards. Could you tell us about the prizes that you won?
We launched our product lines in 2017 and gave ourselves 24 months to grow our brand and market awareness.
We have been finalists in the global clean air competition for two years in a row and won the implementation of technology prize in 2017. There are thousands of entries in this annual competition, so it is a big achievement to be ranked with the worlds best clean air innovations. It is important to note that we were the only indoor air quality technology to get through to the finals both years.
In September 2018, we received a prestigious award in the USA, Top Innovation for Infection Control 2018. Two out of the four infection transmission routes are directly linked to the air: airborne and droplet. Bringing the cleaning and sterilisation of the air into infection control practices is the best and most cost-effective way to bring down the number of healthcare-associated infections. Our technology is tried and tested in South Korea, in fact, it is in 80% of hospitals, has to be used in all lung examination rooms and is the only technology that the Leukaemia association of South Korea recommends for home care. It is our task to follow the lead of INBair and do the same around the globe.
What have you paid attention to the most in the design and development process of Radic8 air purifiers?
Unique, aesthetic, instantly identifiable design with optimised function based on the product usage.
A prime example of the above is the directional flow hood on hextio, which creates a clean Air Cloud around the user.
Could you tell us about Radic8 air purifiers?
We don't like to call them air purifiers, we call it clean air technology. An air purifier is a box with a fan and filters, considering HEPA filters were designed in the 1940s, that is not current technology.
What features of Radic8 clean air technology makes your products different from other air purifiers in the market?
Standard air purifiers use filters to attempt to trap air pollution, but the ultrafine particles cannot be easily trapped, they need to be destroyed or neutralised.
If we break air pollution down into three categories, it is easy to explain the radic8 difference:
Dirty Air / Sick Air / Toxic Air
Dirty air can be trapped by standard air purifiers.
Sick air is air contaminated with bacteria, mould, fungi, and viruses. Viruses are too small to be trapped and the Radic8 technology has a 99.9999% kill rate on all respiratory viruses.
Toxic air is air contaminated with gasses such as those from traffic pollution. Gasses cannot be easily trapped, and the radic8 technology neutralises gases.
Standard air purifiers use HEPA filters that were first made in the 1940s. Radic8 uses advanced photocatalytic oxidation technology that was first designed by NASA.
Because Radic8 uses the most advanced clean air technology in the World, we currently have the highest certified clean air technology on the market.
Buying a common filter based air purifier is not solving indoor air pollution, and I feel there need to be tighter regulations imposed on what big brand air purifiers can claim.
Remember: Dirty air can be trapped, Sick air needs to be destroyed, and Toxic air needs to be neutralised.
Radic8 VIRUSKILLER Blue
What are the benefits of using Radic8 air purifiers?
Respiratory viruses are the most common ailment when people get together in an enclosed space, this includes waiting areas. We kill all known respiratory viruses and keep cross-contamination to a minimum.
NOX from traffic pollution is a problem in all big cities, this pollution cannot be caught in filters effectively, we neutralise it at the industry leading rate of 99.5%.
Asthma, COPD, and other respiratory conditions are on the rise around the World. Most of the pollutants that trigger respiratory conditions cannot be caught in filters and need to be destroyed with technology such as Radic8.
The EPA states that 16% of productivity is gained in clean indoor air environments, this is a huge incentive for employees to install the right clean air technologies.
Healthcare-associated infections are the biggest cost of the medical sector. By installing Radic8 we can drastically reduce infections, saving medical centres and institutions a huge amount of money whilst keeping people safe.
The biggest benefit we get feedback on from consumers is that they sleep better when using Radic8, this is because their respiratory systems can fully relax.
We are working with cancer associations as people undergoing treatment are at high risk of infection and maintaining a clean air environment is a big step towards keeping them safe and healthy.
Radic8 INBair O2
Could you tell us about first designer oxygen purifier INBair O2?
We can illuminate all known air pollutants, but we can not get rid of CO2, which causes a lack of oxygen.
People spend most of their time indoors and do not get the amount of fresh air (oxygen) they need to maintain full productivity. A 30-minute boost of oxygen from INBair O2 will flood their body and brain with oxygen to enhance energy levels and productivity.
INBair O2 is the worlds first registered recreational oxygen purifier and also the worlds first designer oxygen purifier. Furthermore, we have made this technology affordable for the first time.
How many different air purifiers do you offer?
Hextio is our starter unit, and although it is small it is extremely powerful. We have designed the first truly portable clean air technology with the travel bag, this can be powered from a 12V battery, from the power cable or from a car jack.
The directional flow hood means that it can be used in large spaces, and the user can still receive the benefits by putting themselves in a Clean Air Cloud.
The next up is a VK Blue, and this is widely used by consumers and in commercial applications. As you can see from the inside images - it is crammed full of technology.
Up from there the rest of the Viruskiller range is used in professional and commercial settings.
What do you enjoy most about using Radic8 air purifiers in your daily life?
Being a clean air snob! We use Radic8 in the home, office, and car... and especially when travelling. What I like most is when people visit our office and always comment on the air, generally stating that it feels like fresh outdoor air, inside.
Social media platforms are new showcases for innovative brands. What do you think about the power of social media on buyers' decisions?
I think it is very important. I find myself very active on LinkedIn and have generated a lot of distribution enquiries from there. The team takes care of other social media platforms, and I feel that we should really do more on social media!
How can our readers follow Radic8?
Through Radic8 on Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram. We also run an initiative called We Share Clean Air, and that is becoming more popular on Twitter.
Where can our readers buy Radic8 air purifiers?
Hextio is available on our site www.hextio.net
Amazon also stock Hextio and VK Blue
For other larger units, they can contact us through our website www.Radic8.com
We are launching in the US in April and are looking for US distribution partners via www.Radic8.us
We have just completed a full installation in the Oman Cancer Association, covering their residence for children with Leukaemia
What is next for you?
We are growing our distribution network around the World and focus on bringing market sector specific distributors in the Medical / Dental / Education / Office / Government / Eldercare / Kindergarten and other sectors. We are also looking to expand our consumer range and looking for the right retail partners. As a disruptive company we are being asked to collaborate with some major blue chip companies around the World (We get things done!) The first major collaboration is with LG where we are developing a range of products utilising their latest UV LED innovations. We are working on a project of turning their UV LED's into UV Lazers and have a groundbreaking technology to bring to the ventilation industry. Imagine Stars Wars Ventilation! We are also developing a sterilisation product for ambulances as this is the first point of cross-contamination and an area that is currently neglected.
There are several other collaborations in the pipeline with both companies and academic institutions.
Thank you Richard for your time.