Containment of hazards in a laboratory chemical hood is based on the principle that air drawn through the face area of the hood is sufficient to overcome the many challenges at or near the opening. Challenges to overcome include, but are not limited to, air velocities near the hood, movement of the researcher, people walking past the hood, location of equipment inside the hood, size of the sash opening, and the shape and configuration of entrance conditions. To overcome these challenges, a sufficient face velocity must be maintained.
The heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system for a laboratory must be designed with consideration for safety, air cleanliness, and space temperature. The primary safety concern is to ensure proper coordination between fume hood exhaust and makeup air supply. Air cleanliness is maintained by properly filtering supply air, by delivering adequate room air changes, and by ensuring proper pressure relationships between the laboratory and adjacent spaces. Space temperature is maintained by supplying enough cooling air to offset the amount of heat generated in the room.
Current methods for designing exhaust stack height and exit velocity are based on avoiding contamination of the roof, walls, and nearby ground surface of the building on which the stack is located. Usually, no account is taken of the effect of adjacent buildings that add turbulence and increase dispersion if they are located upwind and may be contaminated themselves if they are downwind of the emitting building.
A three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis has been used to predict airflow patterns in laboratory fume hoods. The simulation includes bypass fume hood primary operational features including the top and bottom bypasses, front airfoils, and rear-slotted baffles. All results were validated experimentally, and the simulation was found to adequately predict fume hood airflow patterns. The results indicate that fume hood flow patterns are highly dependent on inlet flow boundary conditions so that the computation must include the near field room airflow.
The use of the laboratory fume hood as the primary containment device in the laboratory has been a standard practice for almost half a century. Quantitative testing of the performance of these devices, however; is a more recent discipline. The use of the ANSI/ASHRAE 110-1995, Method of Testing Performance of Laboratory Fume Hoods (ASH RAE 1995) is becoming a standard specification in the purchase of new fume hoods, the commissioning of new laboratory facilities, and benchmarking fume hoods in existing facilities.