Modified ASHRAE 52.2 duct attached to ASTM/AHAM type chamber could be a game changer for assessment of portable or in-duct purifying systems on airborne pathogens and bio-particulates.

Dr Bruce MitchellThis post is about the new facility development at airmid healthgroup , which includes a modified ASHRAE 52.2 duct in a series loop with an ASTM/AHAM Environmental Test  Chamber and allows for the assessment of in-duct or portable air purifying systems on bio-particulates.

It has been written by Dr Bruce Mitchell, Co-Founder and CEO of airmid.

Over recent years, airmid healthgroup (AHG) has become a market leader in the assessment of airborne bio-particulate load in indoor spaces. Unique services are provided to clients in both state-of-the-art large scale chambers or in “field” situations, i.e. environmental studies in homes, offices, and other places where individuals congregate.

The bio-particulates that can be measured encompass viral particles, bacteria, fungi/molds, as well as allergens such as House Dust Mite, various Pollens, animal dander e.g. cat/dog and particular toxins. Measurement is undertaken by use of the most sophisticated immunoassay and molecular biological techniques.

Many of the studies performed by AHG have led to a complete re-evaluation of product performance and service intervention impacts. Often, results have been pivotal in driving design improvements.   Not alone has AHG performed the studies but it has also brought the conclusions to the attention of the medical/scientific community through a variety of routes.

As experience has progressed, AHG has realised that, when air is being introduced into an indoor space through a ducting network, air cleaning within the ducting system presents a potent opportunity to clean the air in a highly efficient manner. Therefore, the introduction of new technologies into ducting systems for the purpose of maintaining particle free air represents both a challenge and an opportunity.

To encourage and assist air handling manufacturing companies place greater emphasis on the development of such new technologies, AHG is delighted to report a unique and exciting development at our European testing facility in Dublin.

Our engineers have designed and installed a ducting system, a modified ASHRAE 52.2 duct which attaches to an ASTM/AHAM chamber and allows for the assessment of in-duct purifying systems on bio-particulates.

Suitable technologies for assessment in this system, while including media based mechanical filtration, are particularly focussed on products utilising other scientific systems, either existing or in development. Recirculating air through the chamber and back into the ducting system on a repeated basis with a range of fresh air flow dilution rates all contribute to replicating what is happening in real homes and offices.

Of course, the air cleaning device may be designed for placement in the room itself. In this case, the bio-particulates can be introduced into the chamber directly or through the ducting with an option to recirculate air or not.

The fact that the particular materials being introduced are represented by known quantities of real household dusts, known viral, bacterial and fungal organism loads and other known particulates of sizes that include those greater than 10 microns, those that are sub-micron and even those associated with nanoparticles, further enhances the quality of the information being generated. 

Data on actual bio-particulates and the impact of air cleaning systems can now be evaluated in a totally new manner. 

AHG would welcome discussion with air cleaner manufacturers about their new or existing technologies, advising and assessing the impact of such systems on the main indoor pollutants in indoor air.   

Click here ==> to watch video of the ASHRAE type duct and ASTM chamber

Contact Fraser Hodgson if you have any questions on the issues raised in this article and how we can add value to your company:  fhodgson@airmidhealthgroup.com

Further reading

http://www.ashrae.org/resources–publications/periodicals/ashrae-insights
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indoor_air_quality

May, Jeffrey C. (2006). My office is killing me! : the sick building survival guide. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8342-2.

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