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IP essential tool for air purification technology

IPInnovationEnvironmental pro...

Sound IP protection gives confidence to an air-purifier inventor to invest in technology enhancement.


Innovation and technology are important engines for economic and enterprise development.

As a regional intellectual property trading centre, Hong Kong’s comprehensive patent protection system promotes IP trading and boosts development of the innovation and technology industry.

Air pollution has drawn intense concern worldwide which accelerates research and development (R&D) of carbon reduction technologies.

RHT Industries Limited, based at Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks, has been committed to sustainable development of innovative technologies. It collaborated with members of the Entrepreneurship Programme of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to successfully develop a nano confined catalytic oxidation (NCCO) technology, which has been patented in several countries.

This air purification technology reacts oxygen with harmful substances to provide a series of air treatment solutions and commercial products to more than 200 medical institutions around the world, as well as many public and private institutions in Hong Kong.

Company founder Dr Cathy Jim hoped to improve people’s quality of life with the firm’s patented technology, and reduce harm inflicted on the environment.

“Registering a patent offers great protection to our company,” she said. “It is also an affirmation of the credibility and reliability of our technology, giving confidence to our project partners and customers.”

Dr Jim said the original intention of developing the NCCO technology is to replace some of the more commonly used but less environmentally friendly traditional technologies.

“The traditional activated carbon filter adsorption technology does not really deal with pollutants,” she pointed out. “It will stop adsorbing when it is saturated.

“The technology we developed will continuously adsorb harmful substances in the air, such as BOC (tertiary-butoxycarbonyl) adsorbents in the filter element, and at the same time oxidise the pollutants and decompose them into water and carbon dioxide. The filter element can continuously treat pollutants without problems of saturation or secondary contamination.”

The company successfully applies this technology to a range of different products, such as home air purifiers. The company’s NCCO personal protection system is especially useful for workers in harsh environments, improving employee safety. During the pandemic, the company’s R&D team applied existing technology to develop air-cleaning solutions and applied the NCCO exhaust pipe treatment system in buildings, reducing the spread of the virus.

Dr Jim praised the sound IP protection system in Hong Kong, which helps encourage companies to carry out more innovative R&D activities.

“As a scientific research company, we actually need to invest a lot of time, resources and manpower in continuous R&D. Therefore, comprehensive IP protection makes companies company more willing to devote resources to develop new products and obtain more patents."

The company has participated in Eco Expo Asia organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council in 2022 and last year to showcase its R&D technology and expand its business network.

Dr Jim was also a guest speaker at the Brand Wise Seminar 2023: Embracing ESG+ Brands in the Sustainable Era, co-organised by the HKTDC, the Hong Kong Brand Development Council, the Trade and Industry Department, and the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong.

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