Fresno

Indoor air quality research looks at how to trap smoke contamination – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2021-10-21 17:03:43 –

Vincent Malpaya creates a small fire from a wood chip and sends smoke through a tube to a sealed 400-square-foot building where indoor air quality sensors measure particulate matter in the air.

Meanwhile, his research partner Michelle Sterner sits in front of a computer and data from sensors soars as smoke passes through the building’s air ducts and then through an air filter combined with air treatment technology. I’m watching it go down.

Their goal is air filters and air treatment technologies that optimally trap and reduce indoor particulate matter caused by smoke pollution and volatile organic compounds (gas and chemicals) emitted from walls and other indoor surfaces. Testing and identifying combinations.

“This helps the community,” Malpaya said. “It’s an important study, especially for where we live.”

This project is a collaborative study between Dr. Deify Law, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Fresno State University, his students, and the San Joaquin branch of the American Society for Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning.

“The Central Valley is known for its air quality problems due to a variety of causes, including wildfires, large-scale industries, transportation and agriculture,” said Law. “As a result, I am interested in learning about these situations.”

The Fresno State University team began their research during the 100-degree heat of summer in a small, independent building at the Fresno City College Career and Technology Center south of Fresno. Students tested a combination of MERV8 and MERV13 filters (the higher the number, the better the filtration) and the HEPA filter with new air treatment technology installed inside the building’s air conditioning unit.

“These three types of filters can easily catch particles, but what about air treatment technology?” The law said.

Needlepoint bipolar ionization technology has been paired with an air filter. This new technology creates and binds small positively and negatively charged particles in indoor space to increase their size and make them easier to capture with a filter. It can also reduce pollutants in the air.

“If the diameter size is large, you can easily capture it with a filter. The filter absorbs it and traps it. If they stay small, they will go inside the loop, and they will do it. I can’t catch you, “Rho said.

The team also used UVC, a type of UV light. It is an inexpensive addition to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. UVC light can kill or stop the growth of viruses and microorganisms that cause human illness.

The team is continuing the survey this fall and will report on the findings in the future.

A small building is filled with smoke from a hose.

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