What is an Exhaust Filter?

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  • Written By: S. Mithra
  • Edited By: Lindsay D.
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2019
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An exhaust filter collects any vaporized oil or liquid from the air venting from a vacuum pump or gasoline engine. With many industrial machines, their raw exhaust should not be vented to a room or even outdoors because the air contains smoke or fumes. Installing an exhaust filter will help run a pump at better efficiency and conserve lubricating oil.

Under average circumstances, a pressurized pump will cause some oil to mist into a vapor and stay in the air. Machines under especially high-pressure or suffering from broken seals will atomize oil even more readily. The mist can get into employees' lungs or into the atmosphere as dangerous pollutants.

Many pumps, across a wide range of industries, handle other liquids such as volatile chemicals that can vaporize and cause similar problems. Therefore, experts in energy efficiency and pollution developed an exhaust filter that can remove tiny floating molecules of different substances, leaving the air safe to vent indoors or outside.

An exhaust filter isn't a fine paper mesh, like a household air filter, but contains a chamber of chemicals that force the misty oil to condense back into a liquid. These chemicals gradually become less effective so someone must replace the exhaust filter on a regular schedule to keep the air flowing smoothly.


There are two kinds of exhaust filter. The coalescing variety collects and recovers the precious liquid, usually oil, returning it to the pumping chamber so it can reach its destination. Even if a factory didn't need to clean the air, this filter could help them cut costs by wasting less petroleum.

To protect the health of employees, the capturing variety of exhaust filter condenses the liquid, usually a volatile chemical, and saves it in a receptacle called a hood. Then the solvent can be safely disposed as hazardous waste, rather than be allowed to contaminate the air, soil, or ground water.


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