Filtration is the separation of solids from liquids or gases. This is achieved by adding a medium whereby only the fluid or gas can pass. Although there are many methods of filtration, all of them aim to achieve the separation of material. This separation is attained by some form of contact between the object or content being filtered and the filter itself.

Methods of filtration

The methods of filtration vary based on where the targeted material is located. There are three main filtration techniques- hot, cold and vacuum filtration. The primary objective of filtration is to isolate or remove contaminants and impurities from a mixture.

• Hot Filtration: This method of filtration is mainly used to remove solids from a hot solution. Hot filtration prevents the formation of a crystal in the filter funnel. Hence, the equipment and the solution being used are heated to avoid the rapid decrease in temperature which may lead to crystallization, hindering the filtration process.

• Cold Filtration: This is the use of ice bath to rapidly cool down the solution that is being crystalized as opposed to leaving it out to cool down slowly in room temperature. This technique helps in the formation of tiny crystals as opposed to getting large ones when left to cool at room temperature.

• Vacuum Filtration: This method is highly preferred for small batch solutions to dry out the solution fast. Vacuum filtration uses a Buchner funnel, Buchner flask, a filter paper and rubber tubing to connect the vacuum source.

Market Growth of Industrial Air Filtration
Industrial air filtration provides an efficient way of reducing the concentration level of contaminants to an acceptable level, which aids in improving indoor air quality. The need to regulate industrial air quality amongst various end-use industries is an essential factor as it can drive growth. As of 2015, the global market size of industrial air filtration was estimated at USD 3.38 billion.

Proper filtration helps to protect the plant and distribution system while still improving performance and reducing maintenance cost. There is a growing demand for air filtration products that offer greater efficiency and performance. This is especially common in the metal manufacturing industry where the presence of fumes, vapor, and dust calls for high levels of filter efficiency. The same applies to the pharmaceutical and food & beverage industries.

Types of industrial air filtration equipment
There is a great range in the different types of filters being offered in the market today. The most common types of industrial air filters include;

• Mist collectors
• Dust collectors
• HEPA filters
• Baghouse filters and
• Cartridge collectors and filters

These products work by eliminating hazardous aerosols, toxins, radioactive particles and even viruses and bacteria. They are highly efficient and are capable of removing sub-micron sized units, impurities, and droplets. This makes them perfect for use in hospitals, pharmaceutical laboratories, analogous facilities and nuclear plants.

Where can industrial air filtration be applied?
The use of air filters is of dire importance. It shields sensitive and radical manufacturing processes and helps reduce the risk of molecular as well as microbiological contamination. This equipment are primarily found in food, agriculture, cement, pharmaceutical, metal processing, plastic, power and the pulp & paper industry.

What regions or segments will drive the growth of industrial air filtration?
As of the 2015 report, Europe holds the biggest market share and accounts for over 25% of the revenue share. This can be attributed to its food industry that is highly branched out and characterized by the existence of multiple small-scale businesses. These businesses are expected to drive these region’s market growth and demand for air filtration equipment.

The Asia Pacific region was also forecasted to witness considerable growth over time. This is owing to the widespread adoption of pharmaceutical, food processing, and metal processing industries. Also, due to the government initiatives combined with the growth in foreign direct investment, the HEPA filter market is anticipated to gain prominence.

Who are the key players in the industry?
Four key players in the industry account for about 30% of the total revenue share. These include Ingersoll Rand PLC, Gardner Denver, General Electric and Atlas Copco. As of now, these key players are focusing on procurements and mergers to increase their product offering. Other than air compressors that have integrated control capabilities, they also provide retrofitting solutions for their existing products.