An Illinois startup just got funding from NASA for its “smart” air filter technology that can remove toxic gases from spacesuits.

Serionix, a company based in Champaign at the University of Illinois Research Park, said Monday it was awarded a $750,000 contract from NASA to fund continued development of its filters. The startup, which launched in 2011, developed an adsorptive coating technology called Colorfil, which changes colors as it removes toxic chemicals and odors from air, while also killing viruses, bacteria, and mold, the company says.

Serionix first started working with NASA in 2016 with the NASA SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program. The new contract will evaluate Serionix’s technology for use in the next generation of NASA’s astronaut spacesuit and personal life support system.

The startup’s color changing technology lets users know when the filters are working–and when they aren’t. It’s also launching in consumer products later this year for residential, automotive and commercial applications. The startup’s technology can help eliminate cat and dog smells, cooking odors and other household odors, for example.

“We are excited for the opportunity to work with NASA to send our Colorfil technology into space,” James Langer, Serionix’s President, said in a statement. “What’s truly exciting, however, is how the funding will indirectly support launch of consumer products using the same core technology. Consumers today have almost no visibility on what filters actually do for them—making purchasing decisions difficult, and making it nearly impossible to determine when it’s time for replacement. With Colorfil, we are looking to change that.”

Serionix has raised a total of $3 million since it launched, including investments from the Army and the National Science Foundation.

Image via Serionix Instagram