To clarify the active carbon filter is totally separate filter from the Stainless Steel (SS) washable filter. The SS washable filter is good for 50,000 HOURS, that's not a typo it is hours of operation not miles. With proper care meaning don't brush it or blow high pressure air or water (no power washing) through it or do anything that will mess up the SS mesh, that particular filter (SS washable) will literally last longer than our Jeeps.
Now, the "new" filter I was looking into is a synthetic poly material with active carbon in it. This filter would be an alternative to the SS mesh washable filter. I am aware of the WIX filter that has a polymer that stops "odor causing bacteria" this is not active carbon. The WIX filter has a compound called Bio Shield 75 (it is a registered name) That removes alergans and such Here is the verbateum description of the filter
"Featuring the EPA-approved BioShield® 75 technology, WIX Filters Cabin Air Filters capture and eliminate odor-causing bacteria, fungi and algae to create a car interior that is virtually free of outside allergens. Cabin air filters filter pollutants such as dust, soot and gas before it enters the car's interior; the added BioShield® 75 technology also filters out allergens with an invisible microbiostatic coating that becomes part of the filter fiber, polymerizing and standing up like microscopic spikes to help eliminate microbials."
The filter I am working on has active carbon (some people call it active charcoal). Active carbon is extremely effective at absorbing odors of all types. The downside is that it can not be washed and the life span of the filter fluctuates greatly with driving habits as well as the concentrations of odors that are being absorbed.
If you drive 150 miles of dirt road everyday you probably are going to clog the filter with dust before the active carbon hits full absorption. However, If you work at the sewage plant and park your car next to the vents that vent sewer gas all day and leave your car running with the HVAC system running, then I'm going to say that by the end of your work week the active carbon is going to be trashed and you will need a new filter to keep the odors at bay. Now if you drive like 95% of Americans do, meaning your mostly on the highway and drive by your favorite stinky spot twice a day,then I'm going to say that the odor absorption and the filtering capacity will last at least 3 months.
Now the third option I am looking at is placing a very thin active carbon filter on the bottom of the SS washable filter (on the bottom because that is the direction of flow). This would allow the SS filter to catch all the dust and soot and pollen and allow the active carbon to capture the odors. Once you started smelling the funk again you would simply wash the SS filter and replace the Active carbon filter with a new one.
The whole idea of this is to use my knowledge of HVAC and filters to provide a viable alternative to the crappy over priced factory filter for the WK2.
Now I know there has been a lot of interest from the WK1 guys, I want to let you know that I haven't forgotten about you guys. The problem with the WK1 filter is the shape. As you know the Wk2 filter is a nice square (Before you crucify me I know its not really a square, but give me some poetic license will ya.) The WK1 is a nice rectangle.....with a freaking corner missing. Apparently corners missing makes life difficult on my manufacturers, and by difficult I mean really expensive. So I'm in a mexican stand off with them about that. We'll see where that goes, and that's why there has not been any real talk about the WK1's
I hope this post does two things.
1) answer a lot of questions
2) create a lot of interest.
If you do have comments or questions please feel free to contact me through this thread or PM me. Either way I will be happy to entertain any and all questions comments or ideas.