NCET explore business and technology
By Dave Archer
One of the most important trends in American life in the past two decades has been the growing attention that most of us pay to our health.
We read labels on food products. We search out organic produce. We pay attention to the quality of the water we drink.
The obvious next step is closer attention to the air that we bring into our lungs thousands of times a day. A pair of related Reno companies put fascinating technology to work to purify the air that we breathe.
FN Nano Inc. produces coatings — essentially, very sophisticated paint — that can be used in interior and exterior applications to eliminate odors, fumes and allergens from the air and prevent the spread of viruses, bacteria and other micro-organisms.
Health-care facilities use FN Nano’s coatings to create healthier interior environments, and other uses range from preschools to commercial kitchens.
The coatings are so effective, in fact, that one Asian city is considering use of FN Nano’s coatings on all the buildings in a large neighborhood, essentially converting building walls into a giant air-purification system. A bonus: The surface is self-cleaning as it resists dirt, algae, mold and spiderwebs.
A related company, Catalytic PURE AIR LLC, uses similar technology in air-purification units that are used in casinos, hotel rooms, homes and offices.
At the heart of both companies’ products is photo-catalytic conversion. That technology relies on a titanium dioxide compound that becomes a highly effective air purification system when it’s exposed to ultraviolet light. Unlike traditional air filters, the technology doesn’t capture pollutants. It destroys them, turning them into water and carbon dioxide.
The technology, well-accepted around the world, traces its roots to Japanese research more than 60 years ago.
Jan Prochazka, who puts his doctorate in organic chemistry to use as president of FN Nano Inc., conducted hundreds of experiments to develop the system that gives products of FN Nano and Catalytic PURE AIR a strong competitive advantage. He holds multiple patents in materials science, and FN Nano has won a prestigious European Business Award for innovation.
The development of FN Nano and Catalytic PURE AIR as Reno-based technology leaders is yet another demonstration of the way that we are creating a web of technology companies.
Prochazka came to Reno as a senior research scientist with Altair Nanotechnologies, where he worked to develop new nanomaterials and nanotechnologies. When he decided to step out to create his own company, he knew that Reno combined a business-friendly environment with easy access to markets and researchers around the globe.
FN Nano and Catalytic PURE AIR now play important roles in strengthening the Reno area as a hub for development of advanced materials.
Learn more about photocatalytic conversion and its uses in air purification during NCET’s Tech Wednesday event from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, at The Innevation Center, 450 Sinclair St. More information and registration is at NCETwed.org.
Dave Archer is President/CEO of NCET, which produces educational and networking events to help people explore businesses and technology.