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Andrew Huang, a graduate student in the Purdue University School of Industrial Engineering, has founded Ongenia to bring a new type of soybean-based HVAC filter to market.

The novel filter removes fine particles out of the air and could improve indoor air quality and reduce airborne allergens.

Typical HVAC units control heat and air supply as well as ventilation in indoor spaces to achieve the desired room temperature and humidity.

The units also include filters of polyester or fiberglass that remove large particles out of the air.

Common air pollutants include dust, smoke and dirt, which can affect both indoor and outdoor air quality.

However, Andrew Huang, said the Ongenia filter looks and acts like a typical air filter but certain biological properties allow air to pass through while filtering out specific particulates.

He said he hopes a larger air ventilation company will sublicense his innovation.

“Biological materials can have many brilliant features, including being a renewable resource and possibly having improved fire resistance,” Huang said.

Currently, the startup is building a proof-of-concept prototype.

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