W Whyte, G Green and WM Whyte
Bibliographic info:
The International Journal of Ventilation, Vol. 10 N°4, March 2012

The removal efficiency of high efficiency air filters against microbe-carrying particles (MCPs) in the air supply of occupied rooms, such as cleanrooms, was determined. Knowing the size distribution of MCPs in the air to be filtered, and the removal efficiency of a filter against individual particle diameters, the overall removal efficiency was ascertained. A variety of filters were investigated, and it was found that a filter 90% efficient, when tested against sub-micrometre particles, used in standard classification methods such as EN 1822, was greater than 99.99% efficient in removing MCPs. The effect of filter efficiency on the quality of the air supply, and the concentration of MCPs in cleanroom air was also studied. No practical improvement in airborne concentrations was obtained by filters that had a removal efficiency greater than 99.99% against MCPs. Use of a filter suitable for removing MCPs, rather than sub-micrometre particles, would give a reduction of about 6 to 8-fold in the pressure drop over a filter, and a substantial reduction in the cost of running a cleanroom.