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Air filtration for the protection
of laboratory personnel
installation Rochester chemistry lab
Green Fume Hood FAQs
Ken Crooks, Director GreenFumeHood Filtration Technology

 By Ken Crooks
 Director of GreenFumeHood Filtration Technology
 Erlab
   
Are Green Fume Hoods truly safe?
Yes! Each application is reviewed prior to approval and the technology includes multiple devices to keep the user safe at all times.  During use, the “watch-dog” program scans all electronic components every second and will alarm if any component fails or moves outside set limits.  This is a very smart stand-alone hood, smarter than conventional hoods, and not dependent upon other mechanical systems working correctly.
 
 
Do I have the ability to change chemical usage over time?
Yes! Erlab's Neutrodine filters adsorb large quantities of acids, bases and solvents, simultaneously. We can handle your changes over time like we have for hundreds of customers (click here for the complete client list). For any significant changes in chemical usage, Erlab asks that you submit a revised chemical questionnaire and we will respond in 24 to 48 hours with approval or recommendations to achieve approval.
 
 
Will I know the filter efficiency?
Yes! There is a solvent and an acid detector housed within the GFH controller. The detectors sample air from each filter column continuously (e.g. there are 4 filtration columns on a 6-foot hood) and if there is chemical breakthrough an alarm will sound locally and also remotely.
 
 
Is there a safety filter?
Yes! Each filtration column includes a secondary (aka "safety") filter. This filter is identical to the primary filter and will capture chemicals that breakthrough the primary filters, allowing you to continue safely using the hood with plenty of time to replace the used filter. In fact, eventually the secondary filter will be moved into the primary location and a new secondary filter will be placed on top.
 
 
How about remote communication?
Yes! Each GFH can be connected to the client’s network and communicate with remote users such as EH&S and Facilities departments.  The eGuard software and app can be used for remote communications.  Or, a BACnet ® gateway can be used to integrate data points with the Building Management System (BMS).
 
 
Can a HEPA filter be used in combination with the chemical filter, if desired?
Yes! HEPA filters are optionally required when the students/researchers are working with hazardous powders.  When we complete the review of your chemical questionnaire we will advise if HEPA is required.  They can always be added later on if the use of hazardous powders becomes necessary.
 
Are the hoods quiet?
Yes! The fans within the GFH filtration technology are quieter than most ducted fume hoods (no low frequency "rumble"). Common feedback from faculty is that the filtered fume hood labs are amongst their quietest labs, enhancing safety.
 
Will I still save money after I factor in the cost of filters and labor?
Yes! Filter costs to the owner are roughly $1,000 each and there are (4) on a 6-foot hood so that would total $4,000 each time the filters need to be changed. While $4,000 may seem high, keep in mind that ducted fume hoods, depending upon the application, can cost more than that amount each year.  Filters typically last 5 years in the undergraduate chemistry teach labs, offering a savings of greater than $10,000 for each hood.
 
We are envisioning that we may want to have a standard ducted hood in the lab also.  Would this work in principle and if so, would there still be installation cost savings?”
Yes! That is the most common arrangement that we recommend.  The first fume hood can be ducted and will help you achieve the minimum code required ventilation rate (air changes per hour).  After that first hood, consider using filtered fume hoods.  The ducted hood is best used for the dispensing prep hood and any disposal needs as those applications generate a higher volume of vapors.  Student hoods should be filtered hoods as it will take many years to saturate the filters.
 
What are the applications in which other institutions are using these hoods?
For undergraduate teaching labs we have seen it all: organic chem, inorganic chem, general chem, physical chem, analytical chem, food analysis, biochem, principles of chemistry, etc. In addition to higher education, GFH are installed in Pharmna, QC Test, Petrochemical, R&D, Museum, Cosmetics, and many more applications!
 
Can the hoods be shut off completely when they are not being used (zero electricity costs)?
Yes! There is a button to shut down the fans.  For undergraduate installations we highly recommend that the off feature be programmed so that only the faculty and maintenance staff can shut the hoods off.  There are (3) different levels of access cards and the simple “User” card can be programmed so all the students can do is turn the lights on and off (like a ducted hood).  Please note that a 6-foot hood with all 4 fans at max speed and the lights on still only uses 216 watts of power.  But every bit does count and shutting the hoods off, even just for the vacation weeks and summer breaks, will save a couple hundred dollars per year per hood.