We all know just how important breathing is to us all in any and all environments we find ourselves in. However, many of us may not even be aware of just how filthy and even harmful the air we’re breathing can sometimes be, especially in an industrial setting.
That is precisely why breathing air systems exist. These systems effectively purify compressed air to breathable air by filtering out harmful contaminants, like dust, dirt, oil, water, and even the deadly carbon monoxide. They are especially used in industries that require adherence to the Clean Air Act of 1970 and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
As you might have already imagined, these particular systems have an intricate process that allows them to do what they do best: provide us with breathable air. But, how exactly does a breathing air system work? Let’s take a closer look at the five-step purification and filtration process of these unique and highly practical systems.
Step 1: Remove Liquid Oil
The air compressor in the unit removes oil droplets from the air. It can filter droplets as small as 0.01 ppm (parts per million) and the compressed air flows through a blended-fiber coalescing filter.
Step 2: Remove Water, Both Vapor and Liquid
Depending on the particular environment, the next step involves either a refrigerated dryer or a desiccant air dryer. Either of these within a compressed air dryer removes both water vapor and liquid.
Desiccant dryers can have either one or two beds of desiccant materials, which properly absorb the water vapor from the air. These materials can be items such as silica gel, molecular sieves, or activated alumina.
Step 3: Convert Carbon Monoxide to Carbon Dioxide
As you already know, carbon monoxide is a harmful gas that cannot be detected by people, as it is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. When there is too much of it in the air, your red blood cells swap their carbon dioxide (CO2) with carbon monoxide (CO). This can lead to major tissue damage and even death.
In a breathing air system, carbon monoxide is taken from the air and, with its catalytic converter, oxidizes the carbon monoxide (CO), leading to the final product of carbon dioxide (CO2).
Step 4: Remove Oil Mists (Hydrocarbons)
Hydrocarbons, which are also referred to as oil mists, are non-toxic but can still lead to uncomfortable conditions as they can make the air both taste and smell unusual. An activated carbon filter removes these contaminants when the compressed air stream flows through it.
Step 5: Filter Solid Particles
The final step of this process is to filter out solid particles, like any residual desiccant dust in the system. Then, the air supplied is clean, safe, and breathable.
Where Can You Buy a Reliable Breathing Air System?
When you are shopping for the most reliable breathing air system, you need to work alongside Air & Vacuum Process, Inc. They have been in operation since 1997 and have since supplied natural gas and compressed air dehydration solutions to customers worldwide. They’re available 24/7, so give them a call today at 866-660-0208.