2010 Volume 52 Issue 2 Pages 125-131
Objectives: Thermal reconditioning characteristics of organic vapors from a respirator cartridge were studied by introducing humid air into a cartridge that had adsorbed organic vapors in order to develop a thermal reconditioning method. Methods: Five different organic vapors (methanol, 2-propanol, acetone, dichloromethane and methyl acetate), most of which have relatively weak adsorption affinity to charcoal, were used in this study. Adsorption was carried out at a temperature of 25°C. The relative humidity of the adsorption air with organic vapor was 50%. When the vapor concentration in the downstream of the respirator exceeded the breakthrough concentration, that is, the occupational exposure limits in Japan, the vapor supply was stopped. Then, desorption was started by introducing clean humid air from opposite side of the cartridge under a heated condition. When the desorbed vapor concentration fell below the limit of quantification, desorption process was ended and the next adsorption cycle was started after the temperature had returned to room temperature. This adsorption - desorption cycle was repeated more than three times. The desorption temperature was 65°C and the relative humidity of desorption air was 20%, 50% or 70% at 25°C. Results: When the relative humidity was 20%, the breakthrough times of regenerated cartridges were shorter than that of a new one, but no difference was observed in the breakthrough curves when the relative humidity was greater than 50%. Conclusion: The results suggest that the thermal reconditioning of respirator cartridges using humid air is possible for these vapors.
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