Chemical Efficiency Tests, Decoded

Efficiency tests are the tools we use to determine the magnitude of filtration media’s ability to remove a substance from the air and trap it in a filter.

We sample the airflow where it enters the filters, the inlet, then sample the airflow again where it exits the filter, the outlet. The difference between the two samples tells us how efficiently the filtration media traps a particular substance.

Particles or chemicals or both

In general terms, our products are designed to remove two broad categories of substances ― particles and chemicals.

Activated Carbon and Acid Gas filters capture chemicals while HEPA, ASHRAE and ULPA filters capture particles.

Many work processes produce both types of air contaminants; our air purifiers can be equipped with multiple filter types that work together to remove particles and chemicals from the workplace environment.

Our testing procedure for chemicals

For chemical testing, we use multiple SKC™ sampling pumps, each containing small, activated carbon sorbent tubes. [A sorbent is a material capable of collecting molecules of other another substance; activated carbon is a sorbent.]

The pumps, with their tubes of sorbent that suck in air, are mounted at the inlet and the outlet of the filter media being tested.

We also sample the operator’s breathing zone and ambient air inside the lab where the testing is taking place to make sure we have sufficient data points for an accurate picture of the media’s efficiency.

Our objective is to determine two things:

1. Is our filter absorbing the fumes the way we intended?

 2. If we have a reduced efficiency, what percentage of a given chemical is escaping the filter?

Third-party lab reviews results

Our test results are always analyzed by a third-party laboratory.

We continually add to our database of chemical efficiency tests.

Next up in the test lab: capacity/loading analysis to determine how much of a given chemical a carbon filter or acid gas filter of a specific weight can adsorb before reaching saturation.

We publish our test results

Use the links below to read a few of our chemical efficiency tests:

Toluene Report

Methylene Chloride Report

Here’s a link to a particle test:

Room Particle Reduction Test

And one more link, this time to a particle size chart so you can compare particles of differing substances.

All of our efficiency tests results can be viewed on the data tab of our website.

Give us a call

If you have specific questions regarding a chemical, or would like to know if our systems are compatible with your processes, please feel free to contact our applications specialists at, 1.800.799.4609 or by filling out this form.