An air scrubber is a device that removes particles, gases, or chemicals from the air in a specific area. Air scrubbers are very important in some industries as workers are frequently exposed to harmful substances. Most air scrubbers are made for a specific type of air purification but some are made to handle particles, gases, and chemicals at the same time. Air scrubbers range dramatically in capabilities, functions, and filters, but they all perform the general task of removing harmful substances from the workplace.
How do Air Scrubbers Work?
Air scrubbers differ in how they clean air but most use either ions or ozone. However, other air scrubbers simply consist of a filter and a fan that periodically draw large amounts of air into it, while clean air is forced out of the other side.
Wet scrubbing is a technique that air scrubbers use in which air is passed through a moist pad, wet cloth, or liquid chamber. As air passes through this liquid, particles and residue stick to the cloth while the air passes through it and exits the air scrubber as clean air. Plain water is used in some wet scrubbing devices. In other air scrubbers, reagents or other solutions are used to target and remove specific chemical compounds. Wet scrubbers typically have flue stacks or other methods of waste-water disposal and can be difficult to clean.
Dry scrubbing is a technique that air scrubbers use, in which a mechanism that introduces air into the device (usually a fan) and a process of removing particles and other items from the air (usually an ionic air purifier) are used. Dry scrubbers can also consist of activated alumina or other porous material that is treated with specific chemicals to remove specific compounds. Dry scrubbing is most often used to remove odorous and acidic gases from the air or from waste-water that wet scrubbing or other industrial operations produce.
A HEPA filter is an efficient form of air filtration that the U.S. Department of Energy approved. A HEPA filter is a mat with randomly arranged fiberglass or metal fibers that are between 0.5 and 2.0 micrometers thick. HEPA filters are most commonly found in central air conditioning units and other air purification devices such as air scrubbers. While many other filters exist, HEPA filters are considered to be the most efficient and reliable.
Anyone can use air scrubbers for any purpose. However, they are most commonly used in industrial workplaces such as factories and warehouses where fumes, chemicals, and other harmful substances are produced, used, or disposed of on a regular basis. Over the course of several years, these substances can build up to detrimental levels and cause significant health issues such as bronchitis, tumors, and a wide variety of other illnesses.
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