Kawasaki Develops SEPERNA, a New Ventilation System That Uses Gas-Permeable Membrane Technology for a Comfortable Indoor Environment

Oct. 15, 2020

New ventilation system that uses gas-permeable membrane
(Demonstration machine)


Mechanism of air purification by gas-permeable membrane
(Simplified images)


Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. has developed a new ventilation system, SEPERNATM, which uses gas-permeable membrane technology for creating a comfortable indoor environment in office buildings and other similar environments. The system has been confirmed to have excellent air purification performance through the use of a demonstration machine.

The major purpose of conventional air ventilation in office buildings, where many people are present and active, is to release the carbon dioxide exhaled from people to the outdoors. However, airborne particles are also brought inside the building during ventilation, including PM2.5, pollen, and yellow sand.
With a gas-permeable membrane that has micropores several times larger than the diameter of gas molecules, SEPERNATM succeeded in releasing indoor carbon dioxide to the outdoors without using filters which are essential for conventional ventilation systems, and without bringing outside airborne particles to the indoors. In addition, by utilizing air with appropriate temperature and humidity when releasing carbon dioxide and other gas components to the outdoors, the power consumption required to control the temperature and humidity of ventilated air can be reduced. Also, it is expected to have an effect of eliminating aerosolized droplets, which we will verify.

In the future, the SEPERNATM demonstration machine will be installed in Tokiwabashi Tower of TOKYO TORCH (TOKYO TOKIWABASHI PROJECT) located near the Nihonbashi Exit of Tokyo Station, which MITSUBISHI ESTATE CO.,LTD. is proceeding as the project executor, in order to verify the effectiveness of SEPERNATM. At the same time, we will continue research and development for further improving the performance of a gas-permeable membrane. The goal of the R&D is to achieve miniaturization of the equipment, and to apply it not only to office and commercial buildings, but also to a wide range of environments such as houses, hotels, and transportation facilities including passenger ships.

The new ventilation system that uses a gas-permeable membrane was developed in collaboration with Kobe University from December 2015 to March 2019 as a project supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).

SEPERNATM: The system was named by combining the starting letters of SEparation, PERmeation, and NAtural, which are the words associated with our concept of advanced air cleaning that uses a gas-permeable membrane in this equipment.


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