The Science of Air Purification


gush paints contain a proprietary catalyst, which enables it to break down volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs like aldehydes and benzenes, are harmful chemicals that can have very harmful effects on your health, and they are released from materials used in renovation and everyday products.


VOCs are broken down at the rate of 99% in 21 hours, purifying the air and making your spaces cleaner and healthier to live in.


VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are an umbrella term that encompasses gases released by products or processes. The main harmful VOCs causing indoor air pollution can be divided into three categories: 1. Aldehydes 2. Benzene series 3. Other VOCs Common Aldehydes and Benzene series gases found in the indoor decoration pollution environment are: Formaldehyde, Acetaldehyde, Benzene, Toluene, Xylene.


Long-term accumulation of air pollutants in confined spaces, due to decoration materials, furniture, incomplete combustion of fuel and the widespread use of chemicals, poses a serious threat to physical and mental health of those living inside. Based on research, exposure to Formaldehyde and the Benzene series of chemicals causes neurotoxicity (causing symptoms such as neurasthenia, headache, insomnia, dizziness, fatigue of lower limbs) and genetic toxicity (destroying DNA). Prolonged exposure can cause anemia and leukemia in the body.

Need for Rectification

In construction management, rectification of pollutants is divided into 2 categories:

1. Aldehydes removal 2. Deodorising Formaldehyde is colorless and odorless, and it is usually listed separately for treatment during aldehydes removal. The Benzene series and other VOCs mostly emit odours, so the removal procedures are generally classified under deodorising treatment.

Post-renovation, VOC levels may exceed safe amounts by 20 times

Released from traditional building materials such as furniture coatings, varnish, adhesives and traditional paint, VOC levels are at its peak right after a renovation. Formaldehyde is one of the biggest culprits, being the most commonly found VOC in decoration materials. The occurence of Formaldehyde levels exceeding the safe standard rates in the construction process is usually far greater than that of Benzene series compounds and other VOCs.

Household products can off-gas VOCs for periods of 15 years and up.

The ‘newly renovated’ smell might be gone after a few months, but as a large percentage of VOCs are colourless, odourless, and hard to detect, most of us do not realise that they continue to be released for years to come. It’s also worth noting that VOCs are released from many everyday products, such as cosmetics, cleaning products, air fresheners, moth balls, carpets, and aerosol sprays. The lack of odour should not be seen as a sign of clean air.

Our Solution

The Catalytic Reaction

The gush proprietary catalyst (GPC) is a patent pending active ingredient in our interior paints, which allows walls painted with gush to constantly break down VOCs present in the room. Using the principle of lattice doping and electron hole positioning, the GPC interacts with oxygen and water vapour in the air to form radical agents on the surface of the paint. These radical agents, upon contact, break down formaldehyde and benzenes into harmless substances like CO2 and H2O, thereby purifying the air from these harmful substances. These radical agents have an activation energy of more than 120 kcal/mol, which has a strong oxidative ability to cut organic chemical bonds in most VOCs such as:
  • C-H: 99 kcal/mol
  • O-H: 111 kcal/mol
  • C-Cl: 81 kcal/mol
  • C-C: 83 kcal/mol
VOCs are broken down at the rate of 99% in 21 hours. The VOCs affected are the aldehydes (including Formaldehyde and Acetaldehyde), the benzene series (including Benzene, Toulene, and Xylene), and most other VOCs. In rectification terms, it is effective in both removal of odourless VOCs like Formaldehyde, as well as deodorising.

The GPC is proven to be effective for at least 5-8 years under real-life conditions

This means that your paint will continuously purify the air for as long as the period between which an average household repaints – covering the risk of building materials off-gassing in an extended period of time.

Paint Compatibility

Our Paint System

Good air circulation ensures a more efficient purification process, as it speeds up the rate at which the toxic chemicals and harmful VOCs come into contact with painted surfaces. cair also contains an active ingredient which absorbs toxic and harmful gases such as formaldehyde towards the wall, thereby speeding up the process of purification as well. Both cair and cair fresh purify the air of VOCs efficiently, and the two paints work well as a system together. We recommend using cair on your ceilings for circulation and cair fresh on your walls for fuss-free maintenance and washability, thereby enjoying cleaner spaces both in terms of air quality as well as aesthetics.

Comparing Air-Purifying Technologies

Iterations of the gush proprietary catalyst

Through research supported by professors, gush went through 3 developmental iterations of an air-purifying paint to improve its reliability and expand the use cases. As of 2017, our current formulation does not utilise a photo-catalytic process,  meaning that air-purification can happen even in rooms absent of light, such as storerooms. Version 1 – Requires UV light to activate the purification ability Version 2 – Requires just a few lumens of light to activate the purification ability Version 3 – Requires no light at all, 24/7 purification ability (our current solution for the cair series)

Competing Technologies

Our proprietary catalyst: A balance between efficiency and effective duration

Formaldehyde decomposers on the market are mostly photocatalysts or organic materials. These materials themselves would have participated in the initial decomposition and are thus weakened, or cannot be recycled. GPC, besides purifying at one of the highest rates of the list, also lasts for at least 5-8 years on your walls. It continually produces radical agents from surface oxygen and water vapour to combat VOCs, without the need to replace materials.

Traditional treatments for indoor air quality

There are certainly other methods that people employ to improve their indoor air quality. At gush, we want the best for your living spaces, and we encourage the use of as many effective methods as you can, in addition to cair – we’re here to utilise your walls, the biggest surface area in your living spaces, to give you better air.