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Do “Giant” Industrial Air Filters Really Work?

By June 7, 2019 June 24th, 2019 No Comments

Industrial Air Filtration – According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 4.2 million people die each year due to exposure to air pollution. And with nine out of 10 people on the planet inhaling polluted air, there is a real risk of anyone suffering from its negative health effects.

The problem of air pollution goes back several decades and was first addressed by the signing of the Clean Air Act, which allowed the EPA to set ambient or outside air quality standards. In turn, this helped push for investments and adoption of green energy and clean technologies that generated less air pollution emissions.

But it’s also true that these solutions take time to bear fruit, which explains why efforts are being made to address air pollution in other ways, particularly in some of the world’s worst cities in terms of air pollution.

Giant Commercial Air Filters Taking the World by Storm

A number of companies have developed experimental commercial air filters to capture airborne pollutants on a massive scale. One such tower, reportedly the largest in the world to date, was unveiled in Xian, China, which has long struggled with air pollution.

Standing at 328 feet, the giant air tower purifies outside air by drawing the air into glass rooms, which are heated using solar power, creating a greenhouse effect. This process pushes the hot air up the tower and into a series of filters before being released back into the atmosphere as clean air. Since it began operating, the Xian air purifier tower has reportedly been cleaning more than 353 million cubic feet of clean air each day, dramatically improving the air quality in its immediate vicinity.

According to Cao Juniji, the project’s lead researcher, the Xian air filter tower is just the first of many more towers that are slated to be built across China. Patents filed by his team show plans of even more massive towers, with one towering at 1,640 feet—enough to purify the air for a small city.

Solving India’s Air Pollution Crisis with Custom Industrial Air Filters

Another country struggling with air pollution levels similar to those in China is India, so it should come as no surprise that certain groups in both the public and private sector have made similar efforts to build custom industrial air filters.

One such group is Kurin Systems, an India-based air purification company whose founders say they were inspired by the giant air purifier tower in Xian and plan to install their own 40-foot purification tower in New Delhi. The tower is designed to purify an astounding 1,130 cubic meters of air every day, enough to cover an area of two square miles.

Depending on the results of these towers, they may become fixtures in the world’s most polluted cities, giving everyone a reason to breathe easy.

Effect of Giant Commercial Air Filters on Indoor Air Quality

Aside from their ability to clean air for entire communities, giant air filters such as the one in Xian can also encourage people living in houses or apartments to open their windows for better ventilation. This functionality ensures that the indoor air quality in rooms isn’t affected by a buildup of contaminants from indoor sources such as cooking, cleaning, lighting, and the use of chemical cleaners and disinfectants.

Industrial Air Filter Manufacturers Are Addressing a Common Problem

Although it may seem that Xian and Delhi are two completely different cities, in terms of air quality they share a common problem with cities in the United States—smog. Industrial air filter manufacturers are all too aware of the problem, which is why their solutions are specifically designed to capture pollutants produced by combustion processes, which make up smog.  

“Combustion generates H2O, NO, NO2, CO, CO2 and particulate [matter]. Combustion can also emit hydrocarbon gases, vapors, and organic particles,” said Camfil USA’s Charlie Seyffer, Manager of Marketing & Technical Materials for commercial air filters and 37-year ASHRAE member and active committee participant. “Impurities such as metals, mercaptans, sulfur oxides, and other particles can be emitted.”

Smog is a complex mixture of airborne contaminants such as particulate matter (PM), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and ozone among many others. It comes from the words smoke and fog, and was first used to describe the smelly haze that blanketed many parts of London during the industrial revolution, a period of mass production and use of coal.

Can Giant Industrial High Efficiency Air Filters Replace Home or Buiding Indoor Air Filtration?

While industrial high efficiency air filter towers hold tremendous potential as a way to produce clean air for entire communities, they don’t necessarily replace home or building indoor air filtration solutions—not yet anyway.

For homes and buildings in highly polluted areas, such as neighborhoods near freeways, factories, and airports, air purifiers and HVAC system air filters are still the most effective way to ensure indoor air quality is clean and safe. Air purifiers and industrial air filters also capture airborne pollutants from indoor sources, such as chemical fumes from paints, solvents, and furniture, and particles from cooking, heating, and lighting.

To learn more about the importance of indoor air quality control, talk to Camfil USA. You can also explore our catalog of air filtration systems to learn more about our products.

Lynne Laake

Camfil USA Air Filters

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Sources:

  1. https://www.who.int/airpollution/en/