Assessment of In-Line Dust Filter Type and Condition on Ammonia Adsorption
Gas analyzers are commonly protected from impurities in air sampling via use of in-line dust filters to ensure operational performance and longevity of the instruments. This is especially true with extended periods of air quality monitoring in dusty environments. Prices for commercially available filters and monitoring needs vary considerably. A question that has often come up but has not received much investigation is how the filter media types (e.g., paper vs. Teflon) and operational conditions (clean vs. dirty) impact the integrity of gaseous concentration measurement. The study reported here was conducted toward addressing this issue. Specifically, the study assessed the magnitude of ammonia (NH3) adsorption for several types of in-line filters and conditions often used or encountered in animal feeding operation air emission studies, namely, Teflon (most expensive), paper (least expensive), and stand-alone automobile fuel filters, being either clean (new) or dust-laden. Three nominal NH3 levels (20, 45, or 90 ppm, generated with poultry manure) coupled with two nominal airflow rates (4 vs. 8 L/min or 8 vs. 16 L/min) through the filters were used in the evaluation. The types of dust used in the study included corn starch and broiler-house dust. Simultaneous measurements of NH3 concentrations before and after the tested filter were made with two photoacoustic gas spectrometers. The results revealed that NH3 adsorption was highest for the fuel filter initially but negligible for the Teflon filters. However, after 30 min exposure, relative NH3 adsorption by the filters mostly fell below 1%. The higher flow rate led to significantly lower relative NH3 adsorption for both the fuel and paper filters (P < 0.001) but made no difference for the Teflon filters (P = 0.31 to 0.49). During fresh-air purging of the fuel filters laden with broiler-house dust, NH3 was initially released but diminished after 15 min. The results suggest that when used properly (e.g., proper flow rate), the in-line dust filters tested in this study (fuel, paper, and Teflon) offer viable, performance-based options for air emissions (especially NH3) measurement applications.
This article is from Transactions of the ASABE 50, no. 5 (2007): 1823–1830.