How to Remove Contaminants from Compressed Air?

Whenever a contaminated compressed air comes in contact with the final product, the quality of products may not be as perfect as it is. In this brief article, we will enlighten on how easily it is to remove these contaminants from your compressor system.

1. Use filters to remove oil from compressed air

Modern fiber filters are very effective at removing oil. Nevertheless, it is challenging to exactly regulate the quantity of oil left behind in the air after filtration as temperature. The air must be dry to achieve the best results. The fiber filters only removes oil in the form of droplets or as aerosols. Oil vapour must be removed using a filter with activated carbon. Activated carbon filters must comprise the suitable quantity of carbon and must be dimensioned to create the lowest possible pressure drop.

Filters with activated carbon only remove air contamination in the form of vapor and should be preceded by other, appropriate filters. For optimal effect, the filters should also be placed as nearest as possible to the application in question. Moreover, they must be checked frequently and substituted regularly.

Generally, an oil-free compressor eradicates the need for an oil filter. The compressor can work at a lower discharge pressure, thus reducing energy consumption. It has been proven in most cases that an oil-free compressors are the best solution, in terms of economic viewpoint as well as for the quality of air.

2. Using a water separator for the separation of condensation and compressed air

Generally, most compressor installations are built-in with an aftercooler and a water separator, which functions to separate as much condensation water as possible from the compressed air. With the right sizing of the water separator and choice, a productivity of 80-90% can be achieved. The balance water flows with the compressed air as water mist into the air receiver.

 3. Reducing the water content with an after-cooler

The temperature of the compressed air from the compressor is between 70–200°C, after compression. To lower the temperature of the compressor, an aftercooler is used to lower the temperature, also reducing the water content. The aftercooler now used as standard equipment for a compressor installation. The aftercooler has to be placed straight after the compressor. The heat exchanger chills the hot air and then makes way for most of the condensation water, which would otherwise flow into the system, as quickly as possible.

4. Separating oil and water

Oil in the form of dewdrops is divided partly in an aftercooler or condensation separator, flowing through the system with the condensation water. This oil or water emulsion is classed from an environmental point of view as waste oil and must not be drained off into the sewage system or directly into nature.

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