Using Carbon For Gaseous Pollutants

Removing odors and gaseous pollutants from any environment is much difficult than removing airborne particulate. There are a number of air filter types that can easily remove airborne dust, but the removal of airborne odors and gases requires some very specific materials that can effectively adsorb these organic or inorganic molecules.

The most common material used to remove odors is activated carbon ( charcoal) which comes in a number of sizes. The most common is cocoanut shell carbon that is usually around 1/4″ in size and is often enclosed in a mesh type material or sometimes in a fine opening screen container. Carbon can be used in both air and water for the extraction of gaseous pollutants, making it one of the more popular materials on the market.

When cocoanut shells are placed in a high temperature oven under pressure it expands the surface area of the material and then makes it into a carbon material. The expansion to the shell gives the material a very high surface area and the ability to adsorb up to 100 times its own weight in gaseous pollutants. This means that a small amount of carbon material can remove a large amount of the odors and last a long period of time. 

Pure Air Systems has been manufacturing HEPA and Carbon based, fan powered, commercial grade air filter systems since 1985. The various systems available from PAS include carbon media as a standard part of the filtration unit along with a prefilter an HEPA filter. In cases where a customer only has an odor or gaseous pollutant issue, Pure Air Systems can remove the HEPA filter and replace it with an all carbon bed of material. Depending upon the odor challenge, the systems can hold from as little as 8 lbs of carbon up to 60 lbs of carbon material. And the air flow capacity of the systems range from 50 CFM to 2000 CFM.

For more information on the complete line of HEPA and Carbon air filter systems please go to our website at: or call us on our toll-free number at:  8-869-8025.

Model 2000 HS with HEPA and Carbon

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Removing Airborne Gaseous Pollutants

The removal of gaseous pollutants ( odors ) is often accomplished by using a masking agent sprayed into the room or area with the odor. If the odor is temporary or infrequent then the aerosol spray deodorizers will usually meet the task. If, however, the odor is from a continuous source and is strong enough or dangerous to breathe then commercial grade carbon media filters will be required.

The use of expanded carbon ( charcoal) for the reduction/removal of airborne gaseous pollutants has been around for over 100 years. These carbon media packs ( usually 1 inch to 4 inches in depth) can be very effective at removing these strong, continuous odors and the carbon can be combined with other materials to catalyze some pollutants that are not removed by just carbon alone.

Pure Air Systems, has been manufacturing HEPA and Carbon based, fan powered, commercial grade air filtration systems, since 1985. These metal framed units incorporate the newer variable speed motors and the air flows range from a low of 50 CFM up to 2,000 CFM. PAS offers a wide range of sizes and configurations to fit any specific need. Some of the large units can hold up to 80 lbs of carbon media or applications where high concentrations of gaseous pollutants are present. 

For more information on the complete line of HEPA and Carbon filtration systems please go to our website at:   or call us on our toll free number at:  800-869-8025.

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Warning Labels Are There For A Reason!

Recently a friend of mine experienced a severe chemical problem with a mildew reducing product he purchased for his home. This individual lives in Florida and goes up north to Minnesota during the summer months. He closes up his home in Florida and runs his air conditioning on an “away” mode to save on electricity. He also purchased 12 of these mildew reducing packets and placed 8 of them in various closets and bedrooms. He has used this product before but never read the Warning label that is in big, bold, red letters on the side of the packet.

Due to high humidity in Florida during the summer months it is necessary to keep your air conditioning running for at least 50% of the time when you are gone to ensure the humidity levels stay below at least 60%.  If you don’t the clothing, carpets and curtains can get wet if the dew point is reached in the home  mold and mildew problems will occur.

The mildew reducing material used by my friend stated in their warning ……”Not to be used in an UNOCCUPIED area”. That’s right. They obviously found that using this product in an area where the air was stagnant or the temperature and humidity levels were too high could create a problem. And it did!

This product contained 91% Paraformaldehyde and the rest of the compound was inert material. This level of this type of formaldehyde is way above the threshold level for occupied areas let alone unoccupied areas. When a neighbor who was looking after the friends home while he was away went into the home he almost past out. The fumes burned his eyes, nose and throat and some of the metal statues in the home were tarnished and etched. He called the fire department who eventually called Hazmat and they quarantined the home.

A professional restoration company was called in and they placed fans, carbon adsorption systems and a ozone generator to both assist in the oxidation and removal of the formaldehyde. As of this writing the carbon system and ozone generator are still there.

The issue here is that even though many products that contain chemical components are sold in hardware and discount stores does not mean they are automatically safe to use. The warning labels are there for a reason and should be taken seriously. Know what you are dealing with and if you have any questions contact a professional or the manufacturer.

Pure Air Systems has been manufacturing HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems for the residential, commercial, institutional and industrial markets since 1985. Their website has a great amount of information relating to chemical compounds and the ability of the PAS systems to remove those harmful chemicals. For more information go to:

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