MINEARC TECH TOPIC: CARTRIDGE VS FREE POUR CHEMICAL
This MineARC Tech Topic explains the importance of equal and even pressure to the efficiency of chemical reaction to ensure the performance characteristics of the refuge chamber are optimised.
Chemical scrubbing is the process of removing undesired gases from the air using chemical reactions to change the composition of the gas to water and heat as they pass through the system.
Scrubbing systems work in conjunction with active chemicals to ‘scrub’ the build-up of harmful gases such as carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air inside the refuge chamber. During entrapment, occupants consume oxygen and expire CO2 and CO as part of their normal respiration. CO can also enter the chamber during occupant entry and if the compressed air intake is compromised. CO2 can build up and poison the air causing a number of symptoms including visual and hearing dysfunction, unconsciousness and eventually, death. Removal of these harmful gases is therefore a vital necessity for any refuge chamber, especially if mains air fails or becomes compromised.
For more information on the colourless, odourless and deadly gasses, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, please view the MineARC Tech Topic: Carbon Monoxide & Carbon Dioxide article.
MineARC originally utilised what is referred to as ‘Free Pour Chemicals’ to scrub the air of harmful gases. This consisted of three different chemical types that would be opened and poured into blue and white trays in varying quantities. This system was fitted as standard to all HRM Series I, II, and III Refuge Chambers.
8-Person = 18
12-Person = 26
16-Person = 32
20-Person = 44
The current MineARC Series IV and ELV/ELVP Scrubbing Systems use pre-packaged MARCISORB chemical absorber cartridges, an improved alternative to the traditional free pour chemicals found in earlier scrubbing system models.
8-Person = 8
12-Person = 10
16-Person = 14
20-Person = 16
The scrubbing material itself is also very important. It’s size and shape create a packing density matrix that requires a specific flow and pressure differential to ensure it is effective. Variants of this density will impact the efficiency and ultimate duration of this breathing source. Any changes to the chemical or the equipment would require calculations to ensure, as a life support system, it is able to remove CO2 and CO in the chamber over the full duration of entrapment.
For more information on Scrubbing Systems, please view the MineARC Tech Topic: Scrubbing Systems article.
Less units of chemical required, more room in chamber
Unlike earlier free pour methods that require three separate chemicals, MARCISORB Chemical Cartridges feature an in built moisture removal capability. This means that the overall quantity of chemical required by the chamber is significantly reduced.
Less manual handling, no direct chemical handling
As less chemical quantities are required, there will be a reduced need of manual handling to transfer chemical to the scrubber trays. The cartridge chemical is contained in spill-proof and compact plastic cartridges, with no need for workers to come into direct contact with the chemical itself.
Less uncertainty, no room for user error
Reduced uncertainty with how much chemical should be used, with accurate chemical amounts efficiently distributed inside each of the pre-packaged cartridges.
Conformity across refuge chamber fleet
All of MineARC’s refuge chambers now come with MARCISORB cartridge chemical as standard. Using the one type of chemical scrubbing system assists in streamlined training and purchasing processes.
DID YOU KNOW? MineARC can upgrade all Series I, II and III free pour chemical refuge chambers to the pre-packaged MARCISORB Chemical Cartridges by using a ‘Plenum Tray’. A Plenum Tray is a pre-fabricated steel tray that acts as an adaptor on existing scrubber frames, converting the scrubber system from using free pour chemical, to using the more efficient cartridge chemical.
For further information regarding MineARC’s Scrubbing System and MARCISORB Chemical Cartridges, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to a MineARC representative.