Svenska Aerogel, together with IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, has developed a filter material that dramatically increases the life of fruit and vegetables. The presence of ethylene in refrigerator air accelerats the maturation process. By filtering out ethylene, the life of fruit and vegetables can be extended.

The cooperation is a Eurostar project “Aerofilter” funded by EU through Vinnova. The results are very interesting and Svenska Aerogel receives another technical verification of the material Quartzene®. Svenska Aerogel intends to protect the filter material and a patent application has been filed earlier this year.

The work is progressing according to plan and we now have a filter material that effectively destroys ethylene in refrigerated air“, Jörgen Magnér PhD and Senior Researcher IVL.

One of the partners in this project is Arcelik, ranked as the third largest manufacturer of household products in Europe after Bosch & Siemens and Electrolux. They are now proceeding with tests of in refrigerators under real conditions and the goal is to introduce a product for the market. Arcelik is also the largest company in Turkey with 25,000 employees and 14 production facilities in five countries (Turkey, Romania, Russia, China and South Africa). The headquarter is in Istanbul and the products are sold in about 100 countries around the world under 10 different brands. 

The aim of the Aerofilter project is to develop a filter technology that removes chemical compounds present in refrigerators. Fruits and vegetables stored in refrigerators affect each other and produce an odorless, colorless gas called ethylene. It’s just the gas that makes everything ripen and rot even if the cold slightly prolongs the process. 

Another objective of the project is to improve indoor air quality in densely populated urban areas for people who experience health problems due to air pollution. The need to find new technologies and products that are energy- and cost-effective, taking into account sustainability requirements increases in line with consumer demand. The new innovative products that are expected to be the result of the Aerofilter project will be able to meet these needs.

This is an innovation that concerns many of us.  To be able to capture ethylene efficiently has great potential, not only for the white goods industry but for the entire food packaging industry.  We hope to extend the lifespan of fruit and vegetables throughout the logistics chain, from packaging where harvesting takes place through stores and final storage in our homes ” Anders Lundström CEO Svenska Aerogel

IVL Swedish Environmental Institute is an independent non-profit research institute owned by a foundation jointly established by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. IVL works with applied research with the task of promoting ecologically, economically and socially sustainable growth in business and society as a whole. IVL works with issues related to air pollution and air quality, in Sweden and internationally. Their expertise extends from the emission and spread of air pollutants to air quality and exposure, deposition in ecosystems, action strategies and consequences of control measures.