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Air ionization-Effective technology to address odours?

Air ionization-Effective technology to address odours?

Air ionization-Effective technology to address odours?

Hi all:

I wonder if any has had any experience with ionizer technology to address obnoxious odours (cigarrete, kitchen).

Some people swear by it, others call it basically a marketing gimmick, so I'm kind of confused here.

We're in the middle of some test trials for FCUs in a smoking environment and I do feel a different smell next to the ionizers, but not sure how effective these are in breaking down the smells and actually make the air fresher.

What is your opinion?

RE: Air ionization-Effective technology to address odours?

"Ionizer" as compared to "electrostatic filter" are very different.

I'm not sure which you're really meaning.

Electrostatic filters tend to remove all particulates from an air flow - very effectively. If the smell is a part of the particulates then the smell will be removed also. Cigarette smoke is an example of that. We have a bowling alley in our town that back in smoking days, would make your eyes water and you couldn't see the full 25 lanes across. They put in four big electrostatic filters hanging from the ceiling evenly spaced down the width of the alleys and within minutes of turning them on no smoke was visible and you could hardly smell it. They ultimately had issues with the amount of putrid gunk ciggybutt smoke of that magnitude caused in the filters, and had to purchase more 'cells' so they could swap them out for weekly cleaning.

Most odors are organic compounds that electrostatic forces don't manipulate very effectively. Food odors and such are usually better handled by activated carbon filtration.

Ionizers can put a charge onto any particulates that float within they're influence. What results is like charged balloons - millions of tiny ones. They then get attracted to the oppositely charged surface and go stick there. This is like an electrostatic filter but with the capturing part of the filter being 'other things' in the vicinity. That's not very useful and can result in dirty nearby surfaces.

Ionizers often give off ozone which in small amounts besides being considered unhealthy tends to give people a "feeling of freshness" and may actually oxidize some of the odorants.

The sleazy method most often used is odor control systems. These systems put atomized chemicals that simply stop humans from smelling anything in their presence. They're quite effective often totally effective. They creep me out.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Air ionization-Effective technology to address odours?


Thanks a lot for your reply.

I'm pursuing several air quality issues at the same time and you might have seen my other thread on kitchen exhaust systems.

From what I understand, ionizers and EPs both generate ozone because they work on the same principle, isn't it?

RE: Air ionization-Effective technology to address odours?

EPs and ionizers are NOT the same as ozone generators. Ozone will chemically combine with the odors, oxidizing them to a harmless state. Thus, the odors are eliminated, not just masked. I worked on a project at an airport parking garage that also housed dumpsters. The ozone generators added worked when nothing else would. Odors gone, no more complaints.

RE: Air ionization-Effective technology to address odours?

Keep in mind;


National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Level TO OZONE-air: ceiling concentration 0.1 ppm

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Air ionization-Effective technology to address odours?

Smokers are people too. For the room to which you condemn these people, it need only have slightly more exhaust than supply. If you want to provide 400 cfm to cool the space (although the smokers may not deserve cooling of any sort), exhaust 600 cfm. Scrubbers, precipitators, carbon or HEPA need not apply.

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