Sustainability and Tracer Gas Test Methods on Fume Cupboards
Containment testing of fume hoods started in the mid 1980s, using the tracer gas SF6. Today, it follows well-defined methods according to the standard EN 14175-3 (2019), like the U.S. standard ANSI/ASHRAE 110 (2016). While the standard test method is well established in Europe for type testing in the factory, evaluating containment on FHs on-site is hardly practiced. Only few of the several million fume hoods on the market have been tested at installation, and even less are routinely containment tested during their long life in a lab. For operators in the labs, this is a potentially unsafe situation. In addition, the tracer gas SF6 has an exceptionally high global warming potential (GWP) and its use is increasingly considered unacceptable.
Practical aspects and needs of the people in the lab led to new ideas for a rapid onsite testing of FHs. An innovative concept consists of a mobile robot-assisted test equipment that allows quick installation to the fume hoods in running labs. A multiple sensor array on a moving dummy is used to detect the alternative tracer gas isopropanol (IPA). Within a standard test run of 10 minutes, data is collected to quantify and localize containment at the sash opening and to qualify purge efficiency. This reveal causes of and impact from external interfering parameters such as draughts, air distribution, movements and equipment installed.
With this method, knowledge is gathered about the functional efficiency of fume hoods, as well as safety aspects for the operator. As a further outcome, the suitability of a fume hood for a given use is analyzed by applying a risk assessment on the data and a classification for occupational health. It can be a useful tool for optimising the operating conditions of a lab.
MIT Fume Hood Hibernation Program
Jessica Parks, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A laboratory with a high density of fume hoods, such as a chemistry teaching lab, is incredibly energy intensive with extremely high operational costs due to the large volume of airflow required. Join us as we discuss how we implemented a fume hood hibernation strategy at MIT that allowed us to achieve substantial energy savings. This discussion will cover both the technical side of fume hood hibernation as well as the process to get support from researchers and senior leadership.
Methods to Reduce the Impact of Aerosol Transport in Labs: Thoughtful Ventilation Design to Address Covid-19 and Other Airborne Risks
As we continue to learn more about how COVID-19 is transmitted, we look back on past global threats like SARS and H1N1, and consider a future where another health threat is likely. We can no longer treat mechanical ventilation systems as an afterthought. Occupants and researchers in a lab need assurance that the air they breathe is healthy and clean. As a result, the casual implementation of standard ventilation systems in labs may no longer be acceptable, and thoughtful ventilation design is a key part of keeping people safe in shared labs. The type of ventilation system in labs plays an important role in preventing the transmission of COVID-19 and other pathogens that are transmitted through respiratory droplets.
This presentation will give the audience a better understanding of ventilation strategies to help reduce the risk of pathogen transmission in labs.