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Session Overview
Seminar 334: Could portable air cleaning substitute ventilation?
Monday, 21/June/2021:
1:00pm - 2:30pm

Session Chair: Alireza Afshari
Location: Zoom room #5
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Can portable air-cleaners substitute ventilation?

Alireza Afshari1, Bjarne W. Olesen2

1Department of the Built Environment, Aalborg University (AAU); 2Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU)


The target audience is manufacturers, engineers, consultants and scientists.


Air pollution in indoor environment consists of a mixture of particles and gases penetrating partly from outdoor air and emanating partly from the indoor sources. Exposure to indoor air pollutants can cause health effects such as asthma. Measures to reduce risk of exposure to harmful air pollutants from a combination of outdoor and indoor sources generally fall into three main categories: source control, ventilation control, and removal control. In the present workshop, we focus on removal control i.e. particle filtration and gas phase air cleaning.

In many locations in the world, the outdoor air quality is so bad that ventilation decreases  the quality of indoor air rather than it improves it. In these cases, the alternative to use ventilation is to substitute it with particle filtration and gas-phase air cleaning so that the indoor air can be kept at high quality. Even when outdoor air is of a good quality, the use of air cleaning substituting or supplementing ventilation could reduce the rate of outside air supplied indoors and thereby energy can be saved for its conditioning (heating/cooling) and transporting (fan energy).

 Since it is expected that use of particle filtration and gas-phase air cleaning are one of the strategies to improve indoor air quality and reduce energy use for ventilation, it should be considered as a very interesting technology that can be used in the future.

Both portable units for room-size applications and in-duct devices (installed in the HVAC system) are available. These units employ various technologies (filtration, adsorption, photocatalytic oxidation, etc.) depending on the types of pollutants to be removed (particles or gaseous contaminants). Emission of harmful by-products (i.e., ozone) has been a concern for some of these technologies.

 In this session, we will invite subject experts to present an overview on current technologies, performance criteria for air cleaners and the use of air cleaning devices are /are not a substitute for ventilation.

 This workshop is some of the issues that is part of a new IEA-EBC Annex 78 and also the topic fits the mission of ISIAQ STC22 Air cleaning which will be covered by presentations and discussion in this session.


Presentations with discussion and Q&A

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