The AAIRMAXX® exhaust air purification system by KMA Umwelttechnik has been specifically developed to meet the requirements for exhaust air purification of food processing and pharmaceutical companies. The KMA AAIRMAXX® can comprise different modules for exhaust air purification, odor separation, heat recovery and filter cleaning according to individual requirements. It is also available in a hygienic steel version specifically suited to recover food processing powders or pharmaceutical products.

The exhaust air in food processing and pharmaceutical production plants usually contains high amounts of several different impurities. It can contain tar-like droplets, oily or pasty aerosols, VOCs (volatile organic compounds) or minuscule solid particles. Thanks to its modular design, the KMA AAIRMAXX® exhaust air purification system can be specifically adapted to existing production requirements and their exhaust air conditions. To ensure an efficient extraction of contained impurities, KMA’s environmental engineers take detailed measurements in order to determine contamination, volume, flow velocities and temperature of the process exhaust air. Based on this data, KMA determines the framework parameters: performance and filtration stages. This allows for the KMA AAIRMAXX® exhaust air filtration system to be seamlessly integrated into existing production processes.

The electrostatic tube filter is the heart of the KMA AAIRMAXX® exhaust air filtration system. Other than the KMA ULTRAVENT®, the contaminated exhaust air flows vertically through the KMA AAIRMAXX® filter module – experiencing no pressure loss or air resistance. Inside the electrostatic precipitator an ionization electrode generates a strong electric field requiring only minimum energy input. The charge difference leaves particles, aerosols and other impurities in the incoming exhaust air settling at collector plates or inner walls of the electrostatic precipitator module, while liquid components are running downwards under the effect of gravity. These liquid components flow into an external tank to be recycled, treated and reused if requested. Thanks to this efficient technology, the KMA electrostatic precipitators achieve a separation efficiency of up to 99.8%. Furthermore, the KMA AAIRMAXX® exhaust air purification system can be combined with other components – for example for odor elimination, heat recovery or filter cleaning.

Reducing odor emissions is particularly important for food processing companies, as they are often located near residential areas. In order to protect employees, the environment and local residents, companies in these application areas have to comply with strict regulations on clean air quality and odor pollution.

In cases of strong odor contamination, KMA AAIRMAXX® exhaust air purification systems are combined with a UV light module or an activated carbon filter. The KMA UV light module removes odor-intensive molecules in the exhaust air stream through photo oxidation. Based on the absorption principle, the activated carbon filter binds aerosols and smallest residues in the exhaust air due to the particular surface structure of activated carbon. The result is a high separation efficiency of impurities and odorous substances. If required, the KMA AAIRMAXX® can be combined with an exhaust gas scrubber as well. The exhaust gas scrubber removes odors, gases and vapors from the exhaust air stream by means of a washing liquid.

Next to modules for exhaust air purification, customers have the opportunity to connect a heat recovery system to the exhaust air purification system to use valuable process waste heat. In smoking or frying plants, the process waste heat is bound in exhaust air, containing a high contamination content. The process waste heat can be re-utilized using a heat recovery system. Such systems usually consist of a heat exchanger and an additional thermal heat pump, in case of low exhaust air temperatures. In a heat exchanger, the exhaust air is directed through piping filled with a carrier medium (air, gas or liquid) in a set angle. The angle depends on the type of heat exchanger – the most common are co-flo, cross-flow or counter-flow heat exchangers. Inside a heat exchanger, an air flow, e.g. hot production exhaust air, transfers its heat to the carrier medium inside the piping. The carrier medium absorbs the heat and releases it to the second air flow, e.g. clean fresh air. KMA heat exchangers work based on the air-air or air-water principle. The KMA Ambitherm® thermal heat pump also uses a carrier medium, similar to the KMA heat exchanger. In the closed system of the thermal heat pump the carrier medium is heated due to the high temperature process waste heat causing it to evaporate. Using a compressor, this vapor is compressed further which in turn produces heat. Afterwards, the heat is released into the environment.

A further component for the KMA AAIRMAXX® is the automatic filter cleaning system (CIP). Conventional filtration systems experience high material wear, due to the build-up of filtration residues, therefore requiring regular replacements of filter components. Thanks to the automatic filter cleaning system (CIP), this does not apply to the KMA AAIRMAXX®. The filter cleaning system runs fully automatic and can be individually adapted to the production cycle of the production machines. Similar to a dishwasher, the CIP fully removes the filter cake and other residues inside the precipitator. This procedure guarantees the permanent high separation efficiency of the KMA AAIRMAXX®.

Besides the high separation efficiency of impurities and the efficient heat recovery, the KMA AAIRMAXX® is also characterized by its high energy efficiency. Furthermore, the heat recovery system recovers energy from the production process, in turn reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions effectively and long-lastingly. Thus the KMA AAIRMAXX® represents an energy-efficient alternative to conventional exhaust air purification systems in pharmaceutical and food processing companies.