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What kinds of fume hood are there?
There are two main types of fume hoods: chemical fume hoods and biological safety cabinets. Chemical fume hoods are designed to protect against hazardous chemical fumes, vapors, and dusts. Biological safety cabinets are designed to protect against airborne contaminants, such as bacteria and viruses.
2023 Innovations in Fume Hoods
The advancements in fume hood technology have been dramatic over the past 20 years, leading to new types of fume hoods being developed to meet a variety of needs and safety requirements. Fume hoods have become increasingly efficient, offering improved containment capabilities with less energy requirements. Traditional fume hoods still remain an important safety mechanism in laboratories and industrial plants, however, technological improvements have offered various new innovations that maximize the safety of fume hood users. Here are some of the more recent innovations in fume hood technology.
Intelligent fume hoods:
Intelligent fume hoods are equipped with sophisticated sensors and software that allow them to customize airflow rates to match the type and amount of hazard present. For example, a specific amount of negative pressure could be applied in response to a particular volatile organic compound, while another value could be set to respond to simple visual observations of an experiment. This type of technology can reduce energy consumption and improve containment, thus making fume hoods safer and more efficient.
Airflow monitoring and alerts:
Fume hoods can now be equipped with air quality sensors that send real-time alerts if concentrations of a specific gas exceed acceptable limits. This ensures that lab workers are aware of potentially hazardous conditions, and offers the added benefit of real-time safety data collection for future analysis and further improvement of fume hood design.
Screen-mediated fume hoods:
Modern fume hoods can incorporate smart screens that allow users to control and monitor various parameters such as temperature, humidity, and pressure. The screens can even display remedies based on the readings, meaning that lab personnel are able to respond to rapidly changing conditions more efficiently. This kind of technology can be particularly useful in the event of a spill or leak, as it can indicate how and where to take corrective action quickly.
Air scrubbing systems:
These systems use an array of air scrubbers that are designed to capture, filter, and store contaminants produced inside the fume hood. The captured material can then be reused or disposed of in a safe and environmentally conscious manner. This improves the overall safety and cleanliness of the workspace and can also reduce energy consumption by reducing the need for additional duct work and ventilation systems.
Noise and vibration reduction:
New innovations in fume hoods are making them quieter and more efficient. Noise reduction technology is allowing fume hoods to operate in a very quiet manner, reducing noise and vibration, which can be problematic in some laboratory environments. Special shock and vibration reducing baffles in the fume hood can also help protect fragile experiments and reduce unwanted noise.
These are just some of the more recent innovations in fume hood technology.
By utilizing such advanced technologies and designs, lab personnel are more likely to remain safe from potential hazards and benefit from improved containment and energy efficiency. As this technology continues to evolve and new innovations are developed, the safety and performance of fume hoods will continue to increase.