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Issue: Mar 2005


Volvo IAQS Ensures Clean Cabin Air



by Bo Svensson

Volvo has been sold on the value of clean cabin air since 1993 when it introduced a pollen filter in its 850 model. Since then, cabin air filtration has become a standard feature in their cars. This includes systems that clean ambient air as well preventing pollution from entering the vehicle through the ventilation system.

The latest enhancement to Volvo’s filtration technology is its Interior Air Quality System (IAQS), which features a cabin air filter unit with a sensor. The sensor detects the presence of substances such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons–the main constituents of diesel and petrol exhaust gases — in the ambient air. The filter consists of an element impregnated with activated carbon. The filter’s job is to remove particles and pollen in the incoming air, while the activated carbon absorbs gases and unpleasant odors.

“One significant advantage of IAQS is that the system also reacts to carbon monoxide, a substance that an activated carbon filter does not trap,” says Anders L?fvendahl, a product developer for Volvo Cars. “If the contamination level becomes too high, the air intake is closed automatically and the interior air is re-circulated, preventing contamination from entering the passenger compartment. The system ensures that the air in the cabin is cleaner, reducing the risk to asthmatics, allergy suffers and other hypersensitive individuals.”

Volvo Cars has designed IAQS as a complement to its vehicles’ climate control systems, automatically closing the air intake as required. “To verify that our system is as effective as possible, we tested it under real-life conditions and aimed for the air quality targets recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO),” says L?fvendahl. “Although specifications vary from country to country, Volvo international model range of cars comply with the WHO recommendations by a comfortable margin, which is a major advance in terms of a healthier cabin environment.”



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