Many industrial and scientific sectors deal with materials that are biohazardous in nature and produce harmful gases and vapors. To prevent any damage from such materials, labs and facilities use special devices called fume hoods. The purpose of fume hoods is to prevent toxic gases from causing any harm to a person or surroundings. Fume hoods are available in wide varieties and are suited for different types of tasks. In general, they are connected to a ventilating system through ducts. However, there are also many types of ductless fume hoods for special purposes.
Ducted fume hoods vs. Ductless fume hoods
The ducted fume hoods are attached to the ventilating system of buildings through large ducts. When working with samples that emit toxic fumes, these hoods gather such harmful gases, process them and lead them out into the outer atmosphere through ventilators viaducts. Being connected to ducts means that such fume hoods cannot be moved, and are installed in a fixed location.
Ductless fume hoods also serve the same function as ducted ones, but they are portable and do not need to be installed. They can simply be connected to a power outlet and operated conveniently. Since they are not connected to ducts, so they do not have an outlet for the fumes to escape. Instead, the toxic gases are processed through special filters and the hazardous compounds are efficiently removed.
Environmental benefits of Ductless fume hoods
As mentioned above, ducted fume hoods collect the toxic emissions from specimens and release them through ventilation systems. This protects the lab or facility from dangerous gases, but it can still be detrimental for the environment as they are released into the open air.
Ductless fume hoods, on the other hand, do not let the fumes to escape into the open environment. They process the harmful gases through filters and pre-filters which trap the hazardous compounds present in the fumes. As the filters collect more and more of the toxic materials over time, so they need to be cleaned, repaired or replaced regularly.
Thus, by avoiding the release of toxic gases into the atmosphere, ductless fume hoods prove to be environment-friendly as compared to their ducted counterparts.
Things to consider when operating Ductless fume hoods
Ducted fume hoods ventilate harmful vapours out of the building or facility and so they provide effective protection to the personnel and atmosphere inside the facility. But ductless fume hoods trap the toxic materials inside filters rather than releasing them, so there is still the risk of operators being exposed to the dangerous chemicals. That is why it is important to take necessary precautions while maintaining and operating Benchtop Ductless Fume Hoods.
– Ductless fume hoods use filters to process toxic gases. Different toxic materials will require different filters for purification. It’s not possible to fit in a variety of filters into one equipment, so this implies that ductless fume hoods cannot treat all types of hazardous substances. As a result, they are suitable for scenarios where only a certain type of known toxic gases are produced. They are not suitable for operations where toxic emissions have not been identified.
– The filters in a ductless fume hood need to be regulated and replaced from time to time. The replacement process can lead to chemical exposure, so only trained professionals should be allowed to maintain the filters.
All in all, ductless fume hoods may have less functionality and versatility compared to ducted ones, but they are certainly beneficial for the environment.