top of page
  • Peg Minichiello

The Five Step Contaminant Elimination Process for Purifying Air

As you probably know by now, your compressed air supply is vital to your production process. Your compressed air supply can be easily contaminated and can have detrimental effects on your production, facility, workers and even end-users.

To prevent this from happening to you, we have put together information on what contaminants are found in compressed air. We’ll also discuss where this contamination likely originated from and the 5-step contaminant elimination process.

Contaminants Found in Compressed Air

Supplied air respiratory protection systems identify and remove contaminants from ambient air.

Some of the contaminants found in compressed air include:

- Carbon monoxide

- Water vapor, aerosol and condensed water

- Micro-organisms (including bacteria, viruses and bacteriophages)

- Oil vapor, aerosol and liquid oil

- Dirt and dust (both dry and wet)

Sourcing Contamination

By establishing the source of contamination, it is much easier to identify a solution to reduce contamination. Most cases of contamination can be tracked back to four sources:

- Ambient air drawn in by the compressor

- The compressor itself

- The systems air receiver

- Distribution piping

Five Step Contaminant Elimination Process

OSHA Grade D Breathing Air Quality Requirements can be met when breathing air purifiers follow this five-step contaminant elimination process:

1. Liquid oil is removed from the air stream by means of a coalescing filter. The compressed air flows into a blended-fiber filtration element and oil droplets are removed.

2. Water vapor and liquid are removed by a compressed air dryer. Either a desiccant air dryer or refrigerated dryer can be used.

3. A catalytic converter then converts CO (Carbon Monoxide) to CO2 (Carbon Dioxide). Drawing oxygen from the air, the bed of catalyst oxidizes the CO to CO2. Remember that air from a compressor/aftercooler is of a high level of relative humidity. This relative humidity must be lowered before air passes through the catalyst.

4. Hydrocarbons (or oil mist) are now removed with a filter that utilizes activated carbon to remove this taste and odor causing contaminant.

5. In this final step of the air purification process solid particulates are filtered out. Desiccant dust and entrained particulates are removed.

Let Us Help You

CDA Systems understands that air purification can often be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. We are here to help you navigate this seemingly complicated topic. We represent Donaldson Filters as well as Hankison dryers that can support your needs in this area.

CDA can provide a service program to meet your companies’ needs. Rely on CDA’s factory trained service team and contact us on 925.667.3400/

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page