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Experts in air filtration for the protection
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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 (GFH) truly safe?
Yes! Erlab’s GFH filtration technology relies on the latest generation activated carbon with the Neutrodine Unisorb® filters. We are the only specialist in the world to offer proprietary, activated carbon, developed by Erlab, for the safety of our customers. All filtration products designed by Erlab are tested according to the strictest filtration standards in the world. In addition, each application is reviewed prior to approval and the GFH includes the Smart Technology to keep the user safe at all times.
 
 
Will I know the filter efficiency?
Yes! The GFH is equipped with a suite of detection sensors to monitor in real-time any chemical breakthrough past the primary layer of carbon filters. These sensors are specifically adapted for the detection of a very broad spectrum of molecules (acids, VOCs, formaldehydes). When detection occurs, a visible and audible alarm will be triggered on the fume hood, plus remote notifications can be sent over the customer’s IT network. The GFH technology pack also includes temperature sensor, humidity sensor, electronic anemometer and tachometer for optimal enclosure containment and handling safety.
 
 
Is there a safety filter?
Yes! Each filtration column includes a secondary (aka "safety") carbon filter. This filter is identical to the primary carbon 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 carbon filter will be moved into the primary location and a new secondary filter will be placed on top.
 
 
Do I have the ability to change chemical usage over time?
Yes! Erlab's Neutrodine Unisorb® is the most advanced carbon filtration in the world and suitable to adsorb large quantities of acids, bases and solvents, simultaneously. This technology has been developed for over 12 years at the Erlab R&D laboratory, building upon 50+ years of experience, and greatly increases the retention capacity for the majority of vapors emitted from a wide variety of laboratory handlings. 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.
 
 
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. The performance of the HEPA filter(s) will also be monitored in-real time by the Smart Technology, and an alarm will be set-off when they are clogged.
 
What is the Smart Technology?
Yes! The Smart technology is integrated with all GFH filtration packs, and is comprised of the Smart Command control module and the new eGuard2 App. The Smart Command offers a simplified human-machine interface dedicated to safety with intuitive command and alert systems, along with multiple access point to connect your devices (Wi-Fi, NFC, Ethernet). The eGuard2 App lets you access all your safety settings and allow you to remotely monitor the performance of your fume hood (laboratory manager, EH&S and Facilities departments).
 
Are the hoods quiet?
Yes! The fans within the GFH3 filtration technology are quieter than most ducted fume hoods (no low frequency "rumble"). Common feedback from customers is that the filtered fume hood labs are amongst their quietest labs, enhancing safety and improving the working environment.
 
How do I know if a GFH filtered fume hood is suitable for my laboratory?
You can simply submit your request to our specialists and take advantage of the free chemical assessment performed by the Erlab R&D laboratory. It will allow us to determine the filter compatibility, filter life and best mean of detection for filter’s performance. You will then receive the results with a dedicated certificate of validation within 24 to 48 hours.
 
How often do I need to change the filter on my fume hood?
The filter life will greatly depend on the chemicals and type of applications you intend to perform, but also on the overall usage (frequency, quantity, duration). On average, Erlab’s Neutrodine Unisorb® filters last between 18 to 48 months. Commerical/industry applications typically achieve 24 months and Higher Ed applications repeatedly achieve a full 48 months.
 
What is the cost related to filter replacement?
With a 24-month filter life, the replacement cost for a 6-foot hood will be approximately $ 1,760 per year. With a 48-month filter life, the replacement cost for a 6-foot hood will be approximately around $ 880 per year.
Comparitively, a ducted 6-foot fume in a high density lab will consume between $3,000 and $4,500 in energy costs each and every year.
 
Why a laboratory must consider a GFH filtered fume hood?
Our next-generation filtered fume hoods do not require any ductwork and have no impact whatsoever on the laboratory’s ventilation balance. In addition, they can be easily integrated at all stages of design or renovation, requires minimal planning, and any relocation is simple and quick. Such benefits will have a great impact on the design of your laboratory, and dramatically reduce infrastructure and energy costs while protecting the environment. It’s time to select an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly solution for your laboratory.
 

EXISTING FAQs RELATED TO UNIVERSITY AND ACADEMIC INSTITUATIONS

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.