Modeling of indoor air treatment of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans using high-efficiency particulate air-carbon filtration.

Abstract

A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA)-carbon filtration system was developed by the Access Business Group, LLC, to reduce the indoor levels of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs). The HEPA filter removes the particle-bound PCDD/Fs, and the carbon filter removes the gaseous fraction. Because of the toxicity of PCDD/Fs, it is very difficult to handle them in the laboratory. In this study, mathematical modeling was performed to evaluate the performance of the HEPA-carbon filtration system for PCDD/Fs removal and to optimize its design and operation. The model was calibrated with experimental data conducted with toluene in a sealed room. Model simulations with four selected congeners demonstrated that it takes approximately 1 hr for the indoor air treatment system to reach the maximum removal efficiency and that the carbon air filter has a life time of 10(7) yr for dioxin removal. Given a zero emission from the HEPA filter, the overall removal efficiency is 78.7% for 2,3,7,8-tetrachloro dibenzo-p-dioxins, 89.8% for octa-chlorodibenzodioxin, 78% for tetra-chlorodibenzofuran, and 89.8% for octa-chlorodibenzofuran. The larger the mass emission from the HEPA filter, the lower the overall removal efficiency, and the larger the ratio of the filter flow rate (Q(f)) to the room flow rate (Q), the higher the overall removal efficiency. When the ratio of Q(f)/Q is 15, an overall removal efficiency of 90% can be reached for all four of the selected compounds. The removal of the four selected compounds does not change as the relative humidity increases < or = 90%.

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