Industry Expert Q&A with David A. Steil

Q&A with David A. Steil, pharmaceutical market manager, Camfil Air Pollution ControlPharmTech: Recently there has been an emphasis on green and sustainable technology in the pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical industries. In what ways does Camfil APC’s technology contribute to sustainability?

Q&A with David A. Steil, pharmaceutical market manager, Camfil Air Pollution Control

PharmTech: Recently there has been an emphasis on green and sustainable technology in the pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical industries. In what ways does Camfil APC’s technology contribute to sustainability?

Steil: Camfil APC has always included sustainability and green design as part of our core focus. Our dust collector housings and filters are designed to reduce overall lifecycle costs and deliver the lowest total cost of ownership in the industry. Our housings are made of 7- and 10-gauge steel and powder-coated inside and out for increased durability. They are robust enough to withstand the forces of an explosion event, reducing the need to replace the entire unit should this occur. Also, we utilize premium efficiency motors and offer variable frequency drives (VFDs) to save on energy, while utilizing a system that cleans on demand to reduce compressed air consumption and equipment wear and tear. Our patented open-pleat filter design contributes to a lower average pressure drop over time, better reverse-pulse cleaning and longer filter life, reducing overall costs associated with dust collector operation and maintenance.

PharmTech: What are some of the ways Camfil APC works with pharmaceutical companies to reduce energy costs? 

Steil: We work with pharmaceutical clients to review their overall goals for reducing energy costs associated with dust collection and air filtration. From our experience, the fan (or blower) is the component that has the single biggest impact on energy consumption. Utilizing premium efficiency motors and controlling the fan speed with a VFD is critical for reducing energy costs. Properly sizing the dust collector and fan can also have a dramatic impact on energy usage. If the collector and fan are undersized, this may reduce the upfront capital expenditure but will lead to higher lifecycle costs over time. Air recirculation is another way to save energy and maximize return on investment, though it may not be an option where potent or toxic dusts are involved. Recirculating heated or cooled air back through the facility downstream of the collector versus venting it outdoors eliminates the cost to replace that conditioned air. Facilities in all regions report five- to six-figure annual energy savings.