Technicians Use Mist and Light to Test Filters



An engineer adjusts a setting on an aerosol generator that is used to test air filters at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant.



A technician checks a reading on a detector as he participates in filter testing at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant.

Technicians are testing pre-filter banks at the Blue Grass plant to ensure proper filtration and air flow.

“The pre-filters, which screen the air flow for particulates to protect the main filters, must be checked to ensure they are seated and working as designed,” said Dave Linkenheld, chemical engineer, Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. “Properly seated filters protect the air stream and therefore the workers, community and environment.”

Using a solution like that used in fog machines at concerts, technicians blow the created mist into the filter banks and check photometric detectors on the other side of the banks being tested, Linkenheld said.

“The detector uses light to detect mist particles,” he said. “If it detects more particles than the filters are rated for, meaning mist is getting through the filter area, the team checks to make sure the filter is seated properly.”

The target detection for the testing is 99.97 percent efficiency, but the filters have exceeded that, with efficiency of 99.993 percent, Linkenheld said.

The next step for the filter banks will be to test the charcoal filters, which will provide the primary filtration for the plant during operations.

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