Efficiency of photocatalytic oxidation air purifiers in removing single and multi-component volatile organic compounds and disinfection byproducts from indoor environments

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Abue, Pearl Achuoboro

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The efficiency of a photocatalytic oxidation filter in removing single volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and a mixture of VOCs and disinfection byproducts was studied and compared to that of an activated carbon filter. The filters were set up in a modified portable Bissell400 air purifier unit and deployed in environmental chambers. Results from these experiments suggested that photocatalytic filters may operate more efficiently at higher ultraviolet light wavelengths of 400 nm. They also showed that the efficiency of photocatalytic filters exhibits some compound dependency with methyl ethyl ketone having an efficiency of 3% and 8%, ɑ-pinene having a removal efficiency of 14% and 12 % and Butyric acid having a removal efficiency of 37%. Filtration efficiencies are also impacted by air exchange rates, with higher air exchange rates yielding lower filter efficiencies, and by VOC concentrations, with lower concentrations yielding higher filter efficiencies. Time dependent changes in filter efficiency are also explored briefly and suggest that filter efficiencies decrease over time.


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