Odors can be a particularly difficult air filtration problem to overcome. That’s because there are a number of factors that make the removal of odors and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) an especially aggravating task. Selecting the right odor abatement technology is key to your success.
The most common mistake is to use fans to exhaust the odiferous compounds to the outside. Many people will find that this solution is costly and inefficient. Most exhaust systems are roof mounted and don’t have the means to overcome the VOCs’ vapor density. The majority of VOCs encountered in the workplace are considerably heavier than air and roof mounted exhaust fans won’t be able to pull the pollutants up to the fan in most cases. You can find the density of your contaminants on the Material Safety and Data Sheets (MSDS) in the physical characteristics category under vapor density.
The second most common mistake when treating VOCs is to treat the odors with particulate filters such as those in HEPA air cleaners. In general, odors and VOCs are gases and media filtration systems won’t be effective at those separating gases and vapors from air streams.
Activated carbon (sometimes called activated charcoal) is the most common gaseous filtration medium. Activated carbon is a generic term that can be used to describe a wide variety of adsorption media including: coconut shell, coal pellets, zeolite and many others. Activated carbon adsorbs gases onto the surface of its micro pore structure. There are many available carbons and specialty carbon blends to choose from when selecting your odor abatement solution. Your Air Quality Engineering representative can help you select the appropriate air purification system configuration and carbon for your specific needs.
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