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Nano-sized electrostatic atomized water particles,nanoe™, that improve air quality

nanoe™ Story

Exploring the Unknown Frontier of Nanotechnology

Toshiyuki Yamauchi
Corporate Engineering Division
Appliance Company
Panasonic Corporation

Letís take a look back on how this technology was developed. The electrostatic atomized water is in the unknown frontier of nanotechnology, then in order to prove its benefits, it was necessary to develop experimentation and evaluation methodologies from scratch.
The research originally grew out of a project Panasonic involved, led by the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI; now METI). The project was started in 1997 for the development of technology for measuring nano-sized particles. At that time, Toshiyuki Yamauchi and his fellow researchers at Panasonic were exploring odor removal technology, such as removing the smell of tobacco from curtains, when they became aware of a research of Professor Kikuo Okuyama of Hiroshima University on how to refine electrostatic atomized water. By 2001, researchers from Panasonic had joined forces with Professor Okuyama to initiate joint research to develop a device for producing electrostatic atomized water particles.

Research at Panasonic was started by Yamauchi and a junior colleague. The pair struggled to prove the benefits of electrostatic atomized water, but there was no validation method at that time. The research team was close to being forced to abandon the technology, since they could not persuade the companyís business departments to commercialize the technology. “In spite of our struggles, the head of our research lab at the time decided that we would work on the project for one more year, enabling us to continue the R&D,” says Yamauchi.

The technology was kept alive by the dedication and attraction to technology that has always been a hallmark of Panasonic.
On the other hand, there are still so many unknowns about nanotechnology. Researchers at Panasonic, in collaboration with researchers at universities and research institutions, are continuing to explore the benefits of this technology by developing new hypotheses, building up the validation methods for them, and thus proving the technology's benefits.

Dedication, Discovery and Refinement

Panasonic was founded with a manufacturing philosophy of exploring all possibilities for business, work and products.There is a saying that “once dug deep into the vein, a well never dries out” and this continues to be symbolized by the company today.
The electrostatic atomized water technology is a good example of this philosophy, because it was discovered through Panasonic. tireless efforts to improve air quality. As the researchers dug on the technology well, more and more benefits had been revealed from the well, and today, the technology has become essential for improving air quality.

“Electrostatic atomized water, which continuously purifies air, has the potential to become an indispensable part of our lives,” says Shosuke Akisada of the Beauty and Living Business Unit, Appliance Company, in charge of business development. “We want this technology to be incorporated into all kinds of our products.”
Panasonic has reduced the size of the devices and improved performance so that the devices can be used in everywhere, and has filed approximately 300 patent applications in relation to the technology. The dedication and persistent pursuit of the engineers at Panasonic is steadily bringing the technology closer to the company’s vision.

Improving the Quality of the Air Worldwide

Panasonic electrostatic atomized water creates various new values. “I am convinced that this technology will change the way we live and improve the quality of life all around the world,” says Yamauchi.
The applications for the technology are huge as it can be applied to any place where there is an air. Panasonic is determined to improve the quality of the air, and make the environment better for the people.
The need for air quality improvement is high, whether it is in public spaces or the home or office. The technology can be expected to be used in transport facilities such as cars, trains and airplanes, as well as in medical facilities. There is also universal interest in using the technology for health and beauty applications. Panasonic is actively pursuing a global strategy for the technology, seizing on its enormous potential to be accepted in the worldwide market.
The prospects for the technology are outstanding in not only mounting in a broad range of Panasonic Group products but also shipment as value adding devices to the product in various industries.

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