A cyclic two-step process is described which forms the basis for a simple and highly efficient air purification technology. Low molecular weight organic vapors are removed from contaminated airstreams by passage through an optimized sequence of sorbent media layers. The contaminant loaded sorbents are subsequently regenerated by thermal desorption into a low volume inert gas environment. A mixture of airborne organic contaminants consisting of acetone, 2-butanone, ethyl acetate, Freon-113 and methyl chloroform has been quantitatively removed from breathing quality air using this technique. The airborne concentrations of all contaminants have been reduced from initial Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentration (SMAC) levels to below the analytical limits of detection. No change in sorption efficiency was observed through multiple cycles of contaminant loading and sorbent regeneration via thermal desorption.