Filters: A healthier way to breathe

Filters can help boost the well-being of a company’s workforce by removing harmful pollutants, and protect the planet by saving energy. Trox UK’s Nick Shackleton explains
Filters: A healthier way to breathe
The quality of the air we breathe has a profound impact on the quality of our lives, and yet it is something we tend to take for granted. This is surprising given that we spend up to 90% of our lives indoors.

The health effects from indoor air pollutants can include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat; headaches; dizziness and fatigue, and exposure to poor indoor air quality can result in more serious conditions such as asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and humidifier fever.

The main barrier to these pollutants and the primary guardian of indoor air quality is the humble air filter. And there are essentially two types:

Particle air filters

These coarse and fine dust filters are for general applications in air conditioning and ventilation as well as in process technology.

Testing and classification is according to EN779, which gauges arrestance. This is a measure of a filter’s ability to capture and retain a known weight of synthetic dust, fed into the filter at a specific rate to a final differential pressure drop of the filter.

It also gauges efficiency using the atmospheric dust spot efficiency test. This compares the discolouration of a high-efficiency filter disc, one upstream and one downstream of the test filter.

Particulate air filters

High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) and ultra-low-penetration air (ULPA) filters are high-quality air filters that separate aerosols, toxic dusts, bacteria, etc. And they are recommended for areas requiring maximum air purity such as clean rooms.

Testing and classification is according to EN1882, which lays down a method for testing the filtration efficiency on the basis of particle counting using a liquid test aerosol. This allows uniform classification of the particulate air filters according to the filtration efficiency.

The energy used during operation of the ventilation system accounts for 85% of the costs generated by an air filter. Acquisition, maintenance and disposal costs make up just 15% of the financial outlay. That is why it makes sense to focus on the quality of the filter media used in ventilation systems – some are better than others. For example, Trox has developed various classes of bag filters, fine-dust filters and high-performance particulate filters which reduce the rise in pressure differentials and so reduce the resistance in the system (see box below). This allows Trox filter media to cut energy consumption of some ventilation systems in half compared with traditional filter media.

This is made possible by a manufacturing technique in which variable pleating heights and pleat spacing are made in millimetre steps. This enables us to optimise the filter media to the customer’s precise technical requirements in terms of filtering performance, quantity of air and pressure loss. Consequently, the fan output can be reduced, thus saving energy.

So filters do not only contribute to the health of employees; they also contribute to the health of the planet. And that makes them worth serious consideration.

New launch for Trox UK

Trox UK has launched an air filter division, and has appointed as filter development manager Nick Shackleton, who has more than 10 years’ experience in the air filter industry.

Shackleton says: “As a direct result of investment in our manufacturing facilities, we are able to offer the customer a selection of filters that maintain the highly engineered standards one would expect from a company such as Trox, but at a competitive price.

“From lowly G4 panels to the highest grade of ULPA filter, Trox has something to offer customers for every application. When coupled with the range of housings and other air movement products that we manufacture, we feel we have one of the most comprehensive catalogues in the market.”
1 June 2007


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