Purafil: Revolutionizing Air Quality in Manufacturing Environments

Seeming to originate out of thin air, the manufacturing industry faces a difficult challenge every day, conquering the damaging effects of molecular contaminants on expensive equipment. Purafil manufactures a wide variety of complete filtration solutions that eliminate pollutants from the air, alleviating the devastating cost of corrosion and promoting a better quality of air for workers. From environmental assessment to custom-engineered equipment and high efficiency media, to post-installation air monitoring and maintenance, Purafil eliminates the guesswork for corrosion control.

Systems work with new, existing or retrofitted HVAC systems to decontaminate the air for both man and machine. Factory air is frequently contaminated with harmful gases that survive as chemical byproducts of actual manufacturing processes. When these gases in the air react with metallic surfaces, such as sensitive electronic components, it causes degradation in the form of corrosion.

Corrosion is expensive. At over 6.2 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, corrosion is one of the largest single expenses in the U.S. economy, yet it receives little focus for remediation. The cost of direct effects of corrosion is more than $500 billion. Corrosion accounts for nearly 40 percent of equipment failures in industrial applications.

Industries Served

Since 1969, Purafil has been the global expert at neutralizing harmful gases that cause corrosion in industrial environments. The company successfully improves indoor air quality for a variety of control room environments in industries such as data centers, telecommunication centers, pulp and paper mills, petrochemical plants, refineries, steel mills, process industries and laboratories. Better air quality extends the life of vital equipment, improves process accuracy and mitigates the risk of downtime and equipment failures in operations.

As a result of stricter regulations such as the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, lead components in electronic circuitry are replaced by primarily copper and silver elements that are extremely susceptible to hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides. “If control rooms go down, there is an immediate impact on revenue,” Dhokte points out. “In the face of increased automation, where control systems are in close proximity to the process, being able to control the quality of air increases uptime and directly impacts planned maintenance costs, while implementing whole-scale automation.”

For example, Purafil’s expertise in improving air quality dramatically has affected the bottom line of a large U.S. company with global operations. “They were having hardware failures that caused losses of over $600,000 per hour for each unplanned shutdown,” Dhokte says. “Since the installation of a Purafil engineered solution, they have gone from 15 or 20 failures a year to zero.”

Purafil systems also help ensure warranty compliance for manufacturing processes. Installations utilizing electronic equipment are often required to guarantee environmental air meets the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society Standard 71.04-2013, G1 level for air purity. “Without this air quality guarantee, warranties on installed equipment become null and void,” Dhokte states. “Electronics manufacturers will not warrant any electronic equipment failures caused by corrosion, and that’s where we come in. With the presence of a mitigating Purafil system, the owner can prove regulation air quality and require warranty compliance for repairs.”

The company also developed supporting equipment and chemical media specifically for use in municipal water treatment and sewage facilities where toxic chlorine and sulfur dioxide gas are present. “Our emergency gas containment system, in the event of a toxic spill or rupture, scrubs toxic fumes from the air at the scene and releases clean air into the surrounding community,” Dhokte says. “We have saved lives of people in and around these treatment centers during a catastrophic event. It is very gratifying to positively impact the lives of people associated with our products.”

Molecular Filtration Products

Purafil offers a complete line of products to prevent the damaging effects of corrosion, remove noxious odors and meet stringent air quality standards. These improve comfort levels and protect people from poor air quality. Instruments monitor types and amounts of contaminants and preserve historic artifacts and treasures.

Advanced chemistry stands at the forefront of all Purafil filtration solutions. The company began with a single, bulk chemical media and continues to expand its offerings as technology evolves. Media is available in bulk, filter, module, honeycomb grid and other forms. Specialty customer combinations are tailored to address the specific needs of the end user. The company also supplies 15 different filter formulations.

System equipment also is custom-engineered for the client’s needs. Unlike competitors who may produce a large quantity of housings built to the same set of specifications, Purafil custom-builds 90 percent of its equipment. Another advantage for the end user is that its systems function properly and produce efficient results from the beginning, without manipulating the environment to fit the equipment.

Deep-bed scrubbers are designed for controlled environments with medium-to-high contaminant gas levels. A side access scrubber reduces general odors and corrosion in commercial and industrial environments.

The Purafil Positive Pressurization Unit (PPU) and Corrosive Air systems are self-contained air scrubbing systems providing pressurized and/or recirculated, scrubbed air. The PPU is recommended for controlled environments containing sensitive computer electronics and electrical equipment.

The Biological Air Treater (BAT) provides superior H2S and VOC removal for municipal and industrial applications. An emergency gas scrubber is engineered to control catastrophic gas releases while mitigating any risk to human lives in the surrounding communities.

Purafil is now the only molecular filtration expert to offer products that not only remove gases, particulates and odors, but also bacteria, fungi and viruses, as well. For residential and commercial applications such as office spaces, schools, hotel rooms and medical environments, the PuraBreeze is a compact air purifier.

Importantly, the company supplies instrumentation to assess and measure the overall level of air contaminants, temperature, and relative humidity in a controlled environment. This is crucial to the initial phase and maintenance phase of projects. For example, the Purafil Corrosion Classification Coupon analysis determines the type and thickness of corrosion buildup on the surface of each metal coupon. The OnGuard 4000 furnishes real-time information through reactivity monitoring to facility engineers, anytime, anywhere.

“We are completely integrated vertically,” Dhokte emphasizes. “We are the only molecular filtration company which executes every stage of filtration. We help you understand the problem. Our instrumentation easily installs for the initial contaminant and air-quality analysis. Purafil manufactures the key ingredient to contaminant removal, scientifically engineered chemical media. We engineer and construct the housings for that material, and we use instrumentation to monitor air quality post-solution. We attend to customer’s needs throughout the entire process.”

Most of Purafil’s products are manufactured at its headquarters in Atlanta. “Sensitive, intellectual properties, such as our filtration chemistry, remain in Atlanta,” he says. “It’s crucial for us to keep our competitive edge.”

The metal housings for Purafil products are manufactured in Atlanta, Mexico, Turkey, Holland, Thailand, China, and Brazil in close proximity to worldwide customers. “We stay in touch with local regulations and specifications while reducing lead times and landed costs,” Dhokte explains. “The whole idea is to make the process easy for the end user. Sixty-five percent of business is exports, yet patented chemistries are tailored for each solution in our in-house laboratory.”

Innovation Pipeline

Purafil relies on its extensive research and development to create new technologies and products. On average, the company files for two to three patents annually. “We strive to introduce at least two to three new products every year,” Dhokte says. “Next year, we are planning to launch at least three industrial products and one consumer product.”

This strength in innovation translates to Purafil’s marketing, reflected in innovation awards. In addition to traditional marketing, such as trade shows and industry publications, the company also maintains a digital marketing team for regular email marketing campaigns and social media presence.

Purafil is working on an environmentally-sustainable system for industrial control rooms that would combine the HVAC function of heating and cooling systems with air filtration. The intelligent system eliminates the need for two separate systems, sensing when to introduce outside air or to increase the time inside air is exposed to the scrubbing system.

Purafil also plans to miniaturize technology, such as the air filtration systems at the Louvre Museum in Paris and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., for residential uses. “Is it not possible to better people’s lives by bringing the same technology that protects the Louvre and the Smithsonian to their homes?” Dhokte asks. “We are best in applying our technologies, experience and expertise to protect manufacturing processes, indoor environments and people 24/7. That’s what we’re very good at doing.”

Critical Success

Dhokte attributes the company’s success to several factors. “We believe the most critical element for Purafil is the significant pride and passion we invest in quality and service,” he says. “Our brand equity is unmatched. When clients talk about molecular filtration, we are the No. 1 name. Purafil is synonymous with best-in-class for gaseous filtration. We work hard to maintain that position. A critical focus for the past three years was to continue to improve the quality of life for everyone with Purafil products, whether for processes, building environments or for themselves. This level of involvement and commitment separates us from other filtration manufacturers.”