Jim Cast Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1779


December 15, 1995

Michael Finneran Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA (Phone: 804/864-8150) RELEASE: 95-218 NEW DEVICE REMOVES DEADLY CARBON MONOXIDE Homeowners everywhere someday soon may be protected from deadly carbon monoxide fumes, thanks to a device invented at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. The device uses a new class of low-temperature oxidation catalysts to convert carbon monoxide to non-toxic carbon dioxide at room temperature. It also can remove formaldehyde fumes. The catalysts initially were developed for research involving carbon dioxide lasers. Industry already has shown an interest in the device. Rochester Gas and Electric Co., Rochester, NY, has an agreement with Langley to develop a product for use in homes, cars and aircraft. The Mantic Corp., Salt Lake City, UT, plans to use them in breathing apparatus, such as firefighter masks. The catalysts also have applications as trace-gas detectors and in cold-engine emission control. To work, the catalysts are applied to a surface; air passing over the surface reacts with the catalysts, transforming carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. The device requires no energy for operation, doesn't need to be plugged in, has no moving parts and lasts a long time. "Simplicity is the beauty of this technology. It just sits there and works on its own," said Dr. Billy T. Upchurch, of Langley's Experimental Testing Technology Division.

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