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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

ACFs Investigated by UAB as New Materials to Be Used in Thin, Efficient Respirators

Because of its efficiency, low cost, and available technology, granular activated carbon is currently the standard adsorbent against several gases and vapors in respirators. However, the need for containment adds weight and bulkiness, making respirators uncomfortable to wear and resulting in poor compliance. Activated carbon fibers (ACF) – with larger surface area, lighter weight, and fabric form – are viable alternative adsorbent materials for thinner, more efficient respirators. Dr. Claudiu T. Lungu, associate professor in the department of environmental health sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, along with Dr. Alfred A. Bartolucci, professor emeritus of biostatistics, and Dr. Jo Anne G. Balanay, assistant professor at East Carolina University, recently investigated the critical bed depth and adsorption capacity of different types of commercially available ACFs for toluene to understand the service life of the adsorbents as well as how thin a respirator could be.