Ducted hoods have long been seen as the only solution for handling harmful chemical vapors, but innovation in carbon filtration technology has paved a path for filtered fume hoods. In a constant search for ways to improve lab experience and operations, filtered fume hoods offer a way to check off a lot of boxes. Labconco’s new Echo™ and Airo™ filtered fume hoods have many advantages over traditional ducted models including: energy efficiency, environmental friendliness and flexibility.
When trying to increase the efficiency of a lab, the fume hood is often one of the first items of interest. Ducted fume hoods usually have the highest impact on a lab’s yearly HVAC costs because when exhausting to the outside, valuable tempered air is removed from the building. The HVAC system spends a sizeable amount of energy to get air into the lab at a desirable temperature and humidity, only then to be removed by an exhaust fan connected to a fume hood. Make-up air supplied to the lab now needs to be tempered, and the process repeats. Exhausting air is typically very expensive as ducted hoods often require a significant volume of exhaust air to run properly. It is estimated that this air costs an average of $8 per cubic foot per minute (CFM), but can range from $5-$13 depending on the climate where the lab is located. To put this into perspective, a fume hood that requires 500 CFM could have an impact of about $4,000 per year.
Labconco's Echo and Airo filtered fume hoods eliminate HVAC costs entirely. Valuable tempered air is no longer being shoved outside, and is instead being cleaned through carbon filtration and recirculated back into the lab space. All air is conserved, thus offering the lab an excellent way to improve its energy efficiency.
In addition to advancing a lab’s efficiency, making a lab more environmentally friendly is something many labs should constantly be exploring. The Echo and Airo are an excellent way to recognize a reduction to environmental impact through their ductless design. Since ducted fume hoods will exhaust air to the outside of the building, any harmful fumes or vapors that are being handled inside the hood also get exhausted to the environment. Although the dilution of chemicals into the atmosphere makes this a generally safe and common practice, pollutants are still ejected into the atmosphere. With filtered fume hoods, these chemicals are bonded to the carbon in the filters, and clean air is recirculated. All of the harmful fumes or vapors are captured and contained within the filters, and once the filters are full, they are safely discarded. This process, in conjunction with the efficiency obtained by eliminating exhausted air, makes the Echo and Airo an excellent environmentally friendly addition to any lab space.
The Echo and Airo also offer a different dimension of flexibility when compared to a ducted fume hood. Ducted hoods require a significant amount of infrastructure and planning to be implemented into a space. This primarily includes the ducting system that needs to be in place for this type of hood. All of this infrastructure means that once a ducted hood is in place, that’s likely where the hood will remain for the remainder of its life. The flexibility of a filtered fume hood frees up the placement restrictions on a hood, giving flexibility to a laboratory. Filtered hoods require virtually no duct work, so if a hood needs to be moved or repurposed due to changing applications, it can simply be moved and recertified. It is that simple. Since the Echo and Airo fume hoods operate without duct work, they are also able to be placed in locations where ducted hoods are difficult to implement. This could be in the bottom level of a very tall building where the mechanical system would be very complex, or an older building where adding an entire network of ducting would be difficult and costly.
Labconco partners with Erlab, who has over 50 years of experience in carbon filtration, to combine the advanced performance of Labconco hoods with Erlab’s cutting edge Neutrodine® Unisorb filtration technology. These filters are a comprehensive molecular filter that allow for the simultaneous filtering of solvents, acids, bases, ammonia, formaldehyde and other chemicals. Each filter is designed with a unique filter frame that prevents carbon shifting and channeling, which significantly extends the lifetime of the filter and provides a high retention capacity for an unprecedented level of safety and longevity. When combining the performance of a Labconco fume hood with the quality of Erlab’s filtration, labs can rest easy knowing they are in very good hands.
The Echo filtered fume hood is a full-sized benchtop hood capable of a wide range of applications. It is designed to house similar equipment to typical ducted fume hoods due to its very similar size.
The Airo filtered fume hood is a compact version of the Echo, that it is shorter and comes in smaller widths. Airo models are designed for labs that may have a low ceiling height clearance as well as labs that may have a smaller available footprint for new equipment.
The Echo Floor-Mounted filtered fume hood is a large hood that is built to fit large equipment of various applications. It is available in multiple depths to accommodate many processes.
Visit labconco.com/echo to learn more about our filtered fume hoods that require no ducting.
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