Physical and chemical characterization of Kuwaiti atmospheric dust and synthetic dusts: effects on the pressure drop and fractional efficiency of HEPA filters.

The importance of clean air to the indoor air quality affecting the well-being of human occupants and rising energy consumption has highlighted the critical role of air filter performance. Actual performance of air filters installed in air handling units in Kuwait tends to deviate from the performance predicted by laboratory results. Therefore, accurate filter performance prediction is important to estimate filter lifetime, and to reduce energy and maintenance operating costs. To ensure appropriate filter selection for a specific application, particulate contaminants existing in Kuwaiti atmospheric dust were identified and characterized. This paper compares the physical and chemical characterization of Kuwaiti atmospheric dust with the available commercial synthetic dusts. It also tests full scale HEPA pleated V-shaped filters used in Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and gas turbine applications. The effects of different synthetic dust types and their particle size distributions on the pressure drop and fractional efficiency using DEHS testing according to DIN 1822 is studied.