Chris Muller is Technical Director for Purafil, Inc. (Doraville, Georgia USA) with responsibilities for technical support services and various research and development functions. He also serves as their Global Mission Critical Technology Manager responsible for Purafil’s data center business development program. Prior to joining Purafil, he worked in the chemical process and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries in plant management and quality assurance/quality control.
He has written and spoken extensively on the subject of environmental air quality and the application and use of gas-phase air filtration, corrosion control and monitoring, electronic equipment reliability, and RoHS and counts over 125 articles and peer-reviewed papers, more than 100 seminars, and 8 handbooks to his credit. Mr. Muller has edited chapters in two handbooks on the application and use of gas-phase air filtration, wrote the chapter on contamination control in the ASHRAE Datacom Series Handbook – Particulate and Gaseous Contamination in Datacom Environments, wrote the chapter on gas-phase air filtration in the NAFA Air Filtration Handbook and the chapter on airborne molecular contamination in the Semiconductor Manufacturing Handbook published by McGraw-Hill.
He has testified before OSHA on a proposed Indoor Air Quality Standard and has consulted on the preparation of Dutch and Italian governmental standards for indoor environments and has worked closely with many state and national agencies in the U.S. and abroad to develop and implement indoor environmental control strategies for airborne contaminants.
He is one of only a handful of ASHRAE members named as a Distinguished Lecturer and is a frequent speaker at ASHRAE Chapter and Regional meetings both domestically and abroad. He has received ASHRAE’s Distinguished Service Award. He was a member of the International Scientific Committee for the ASHRAE IAQ Conference Malaysia 2010: Airborne Infection Control – Ventilation, IAQ & Energy. He also served on the Scientific Program Committee (SPC) of the Environmental Health 2013 Conference (Basel, Switzerland).
He is a voting member of ASHRAE’s Standing Standard Project Committee (SSPC) 62.1 – Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, serves on the Education subcommittee, and is a co-author of the Standard 62.1 User’s Manual. He is also a voting member of Technical Committee 2.3 – Gaseous Air Contaminants and Gas Contaminant Removal Equipment and a corresponding member for Technical Committee 9.9 – Mission Critical Facilities, Technology Spaces and Electronic Equipment. He is also a corresponding member of Technical Committee 9.11 – Clean Spaces. He is the former Chair of SSPC 145 which published the first industry standards for assessing the performance of media and equipment used in gas phase air filtration systems.
Muller is the chair of the International Society of Automation (ISA) 71 committee on Environmental Conditions for Process Measurement and Control Systems and was responsible for updating Standard 71.04 on Airborne Contaminants to account for the changes in electronic equipment and their reliability brought about by global “lead-free” manufacturing regulations.
He serves on the Yield Enhancement Technical Working Group and the Wafer Environment Contamination Control (WEEC) subgroup for the 2015 update to the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS).
Other memberships include:
- Institute of Environmental Sciences (IEST) – Senior Member and a member of the Senior Faculty of the IEST Contamination Control Institute. Willis J. Whitfield Award for contributions on airborne molecular contamination (AMC) control. He is member of Working Groups CC 008 (Gas Phase Adsorber Cells), CC 012 (Cleanroom Environments), and CC 035 (Design Considerations for Airborne Molecular Contamination Filtration Systems).
- International Standards Organization (ISO) – Technical Committee 142: Working Group 8 on Gas-Phase Air Cleaning Devices for General Ventilation and Technical Committee 156: Corrosion of Metals and Alloys.
- American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) – Research and Technical Studies specialty group.
- American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) – Committee D22.05 on Indoor Air and Committee D.28.04 on Activated Carbon.
- Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA) – Indoor Air Quality Committee.
- International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ) – Task Force III on Indoor Air Quality in Museums.
- Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA)
- Technical Association of the Pulp & Paper Industry (TAPPI)
He received his B.S. in Applied Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Georgia Tech and has done postgraduate work in Industrial Engineering.
Achieving Your Indoor Air Quality Goals: Which Filtration System Works Best?
One cannot discuss the topic of indoor air quality without giving some attention to the role that energy conservation measures may play. Often the quest to reduce energy costs by “tightening” buildings and relying on less outside air has been pointed to as the main cause of many IAQ problems. The public’s increased awareness towards IAQ-related issues and their demand to be able to work in a healthy environment, along with building owners’ and managers’ desires to keep energy consumption to a minimum, has fostered a growing need for economical and effective solutions. One of these solutions has been the use of air filtration. This mitigation measure can provide results similar to, and in many cases better than, those expected through ventilation, i.e. the reduction of airborne contaminant levels. Air filtration can be applied for the reduction of particulate matter, gaseous contaminants, or both. It is the use of air filtration systems for the control of gaseous contaminants that will be the focus of this discussion.
Air Quality in Data Centers: People vs. the Machines
When one hears the phrase “indoor air quality” or IAQ, most associate this with the health, well-being, and comfort of humans in an occupiable space. However, in mission critical facilities such as data centers, IAQ is being scrutinized less for the human occupants and more for the “health” of the critical informational technology (IT) and datacom equipment. Regulatory changes in place since 2006 resulted in much higher failure rates for IT and datacom equipment in facilities located in regions with high air pollution levels. The use of outdoor air for free cooling as a way to reduce energy costs has reached the mainstream of data center design and for many companies it is now the standard design approach for all new facilities. This coupled with an increase in the maximum allowable temperature ranges for IT / datacom equipment means free cooling can and is being used in more locations than ever before. And while this has led to dramatic energy savings and overall lower operational costs, in growing numbers of applications, this has come at the cost of equipment reliability. Although climatic conditions may allow for the use fee cooling, other factors now have to be considered. Primary among these are local and regional air quality. As the use of free cooling expands many locations are experiencing higher equipment failure rates due to the effects of gaseous pollutants, higher temperatures, and fluctuating humidity inside the data center. This doesn’t mean that free cooling should not be considered where feasible; it is just that a few additional steps are required to assure reliable operation of datacom equipment.
This presentation will cover: Air quality standards for datacom environments, updates on ongoing environmental concerns, an overview of free cooling with respect to issues affecting electronic equipment reliability, and free cooling case studies with and without application of contamination assessment, control, and monitoring programs.
Air Quality Guidelines for Museums, Archives, and Libraries
There has been much discussion as to what properly constitutes a true “conservation environment” with regards to airborne pollutants. An environmental classification scheme has been developed that can effectively gauge – in real time – the destructive potential of an environment and provide an indication to conservators of the risk factor the environment poses towards exposed artifacts and materials. This presentation will discuss of some of the more relevant research on gaseous pollutants, discuss reactivity monitoring and a standard environmental classification scheme in its current form, and the results of monitoring from a number of museums.
An Evaluation of Filtration and Air Cleaning Equipment Performance in Existing Installations with Regard to Acceptable IAQ Attainment
A number of trends are stimulating interest in the usage of filtration and air cleaning as an adjunct to the environmental conditioning of buildings. These include escalation of energy costs, heightened awareness about acceptable IAQ, aging of the commercial building inventory, numerous revisions and addenda to ventilation standards and building codes, and green building/sustainability initiatives and energy tax credits. A field study was performed on established installations of particulate and gas-phase filtration and included a variety of building types and usage and evaluated environmental conditions and airborne contaminants. The study was undertaken in two parts with Phase I being to establish and finalize test and measurement protocols and a Phase II field investigation. This presentation provides a summary of both Phases, including characteristics of untreated outdoor air, and air cleaning with particulate filters and gas-phase air filtration. The field study demonstrated that filtered air can meet or exceed the IAQ level from simple dilution with outdoor air. The study also documents the comparable energy savings as a result of a reduction in outdoor air ventilation rates and significant control of specific contaminants of concern regarding occupant safety and building security.
Application of Gas-Phase Air Filtration in Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, and Life Science Manufacturing
Air handling systems in cleanroom are designed to provide and maintain environments sufficiently well-controlled as to minimize process defects, assure product quality, and to provide for worker safety and health. Typically, cleanrooms are designed to provide contaminant-free manufacturing environments by maximizing the control of airborne particulates – both viable and non-viable. However, there is another important type of airborne contaminant that is not controlled with traditional filtration technology. This is the non-particulate or molecular (chemical), contaminant. This discussion focus on the problems associated with chemical contamination and will describe the application of gas-phase air filtration in cleanroom manufacturing applications.
Applying the IAQ Procedure of ASHRAE 62.1-2016 at K-12 Educational Facilities
Mechanical Engineers use ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2016 to determine minimum building ventilation requirements and multiple mechanical codes refer to it as the basis for ventilation calculations. Engineers use the Indoor Air Quality Procedure (IAQP) less frequently, partly because of its perceived difficulty. This presentation provides information about the requirements of the IAQP, incentives to apply the IAQP, and experiences of one school district in using the IAQP.
ASHRAE Standard 62.1 and LEED: Using Enhanced Air Cleaning to Integrate IAQ and Energy Conservation
It is a fact nowadays that urban air pollution in many locations has reached and maintains unacceptable levels with regards to national and regional air quality standards. Because of this the use of enhanced air filtration in HVAC design specifications is no longer a luxury but a necessity. The time when code minimum filtration could be used in makeup air handlers is quickly disappearing and multistage air filtration systems for both particulate and gas-phase air pollution are now required to protect the health, well-being, and productivity of the building occupants. By transforming the investment in enhanced air filtration into capital equipment and ongoing energy savings by designing HVAC systems using the IAQ Procedure of ASHRAE Standard 62.1, it also serves to avoid unnecessary additional investments in ancillary equipment that would be required using the more commonly applied Ventilation Rate Procedure (VRP). With notable trends in many regions toward high-rise commercial and residential buildings, employing Standard 62.1’s IAQ Procedure as a design basic for HVAC systems in high-rise buildings can easily achieve the dual benefits of achieving energy savings by reducing the amount of outdoor ventilation air that has to be brought into the building and achieving significantly improved indoor air quality by direct control of pollutants not guaranteed when using the VRP. The use of the IAQ Procedure can also be used in buildings seeking LEED or similar certifications by qualifying for credits under IAQ, energy conservation, design innovation, and other categories. This presentation will discuss the IAQ Procedure and current work being done to make this a more relevant design option when using ASHRAE Standard 62.1. Examples of the application of enhanced filtration as a replacement for ventilation air in locations with significant ambient air pollution and the resulting energy savings will be provided.
Beyond Ozone: Cleaning Outdoor Air for IAQ
Considerate of current outdoor air quality concerns, Standard 62.1-2016 has air cleaning requirements for ozone. It now requires air cleaning when the outdoor ozone concentration is high, but it does not require air cleaning for other contaminants. Mandatory air cleaning for ozone is appropriate because of the large number of people living in nonattainment areas, and the negative impact that ozone has on indoor air quality and occupant well-being. However, outdoor air quality may be unacceptable in areas other than those in nonattainment for one or more of the EPA’s criteria contaminants. This talk with discuss the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and Standard 62.1’s requirements for outdoor air treatment as well as best practices for treating outdoor air that has been deemed “unacceptable.”
Clearing the Air: Advances in Gas-Phase Air Filtration Technology, Standards, and Applications
Today a significant portion of the world’s population lives in urban areas where outdoor air does not meet local, regional, and/or national air quality standards. Therefore, it seems intuitive that occupied spaces ventilated with outdoor air that is already deemed unacceptable are subject to reduced air quality when air cleaning is not employed prior to distribution into these spaces. However, many buildings provide no more air cleaning than the simple dust filters that were supplied with the HVAC system. Even when proper filtration for particulate pollutants is provided, it is almost a certainty that nothing is being done to control gaseous air pollutants.
Fortunately, air cleaning technologies have evolved to the point that there are effective and economical options for providing a healthy, comfortable indoor environment. Further, ventilation standards, mechanical codes, and building rating systems have similarly evolved with an eye on indoor air quality and how best to achieve an acceptable indoor environment.
Enhanced air cleaning is being used to provide and maintain acceptable IAQ in commercial buildings for the control of particulate pollutants, and increasingly so for the control of gaseous pollutants given the many options now available. Employing enhanced air filtration systems as an integral part of an HVAC system can effectively reduce airborne contaminants to well below standard levels, but effective control of environmental pollutants requires the use of a filtration system optimized for both particulate and gaseous pollutant removal. Use in either recirculation or mixed recirculation and outdoor air systems is effective for controlling undesirable contaminants and has the potential for conserving energy.
The acceptance and use of these enhanced air cleaning technologies is being noticed by standards writing bodies inasmuch that there are requirements for enhanced air cleaning where outdoor ventilation does not meet national air quality standards. Further, the use of standard testing for the evaluation of gas-phase air filtration media and devices has become a requirement ASHRAE 62.1: Ventilation for Acceptable Air Quality. Similarly LEED pilot credit EQpc68: Indoor air quality procedure also requires these use of standard testing in its application.
This presentation will present an overview of ambient air quality standards, what contaminants are being measured, and what criteria are used to determine acceptability. Examples of local air quality data will be provided along with a discussion of suitable air cleaning technologies. This will include some of the more effective air cleaning options available today as well as some of the more promising emerging technologies. Cost considerations will be presented along with the potential energy savings possible allowed with existing ventilation standards.
The Control of Nitrogen Oxides from Motor Vehicle Exhaust for Improved Indoor Air Quality
The health effects of automobile and diesel exhaust are well documented. As cities become more crowded, the number of people affected by this type of air pollution will increase as well. Research has shown that most air cleaning systems are not adequate for the control of the major gaseous contaminants found in motor vehicle exhaust.
An improved filter medium provides for improved control of nitrogen oxides (NOx). Application of this and other media types into a nonwoven fiber matrix provide higher removal efficiencies and lower pressure drops than traditional air cleaning systems and can also be produced with integral particulate filtration for more complete control of automobile and diesel exhaust emissions.
Demonstration of ASHRAE IAQ-Procedure Effectiveness for Improved IAQ and Greater Energy Efficiency
Studies have reported that higher ventilation rates, even as high as 45 cfm/person, improve worker and student health, productivity, and learning; however, using these higher ventilation rates may be achieved at a significant energy penalty. This opposes the current trend for more sustainable, greener buildings, which require increased energy efficiency to meet sustainability guidelines. Also, higher ventilation rates are becoming too costly as energy costs continue to escalate. Applying the ASHRAE 62.1-2016 IAQ Procedure by employing gas-phase air filtration combined with particulate filtration is a solution to optimizing the indoor air quality without significantly raising, and often lowering, the ventilation rates. Research has been conducted in six commercial buildings and four schools investigating the effectiveness of gas-phase filtration systems for removing airborne contaminants and thereby improving the indoor air quality and operational cost savings and payback over time. Overall, there were significant reductions in TVOCs, ozone, and particulates, and the schools reported a decrease of 50% in medical inhaler use by asthmatic students. Each building had considerable operational cost savings resulting in $8,000 – $800,000 annual savings over and above the cost of the filters and their maintenance. This study demonstrates that the IAQ Procedure can be effectively applied to buildings and improve the indoor air quality and reduce operating costs, particularly as a retrofit option to existing buildings.
Does Control of Indoor CO2 Levels Negatively Impact IAQ?
Carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring has long been used as a surrogate indicator of indoor air quality (IAQ). However, with the advent of multi-gas sensor technologies, this is a flawed and counterproductive approach in that low CO2 levels do not equate to good IAQ. A common misrepresentation of ASHRAE Standard 62.1: Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality is that a target level of ~1,000 ppm for CO2 indicates acceptable IAQ. However, this does not necessarily guarantee good IAQ, and many believe this has detracted from addressing true causes of poor IAQ. ASHRAE even acknowledges such by removing the discussion of CO2 from normative sections of the standard. This has not kept CO2 out of the public eye with recent reports of productivity loss associated with raised levels. This information, along with current EU/UK building regulations detailing ventilation requirements, have led to a requirement for CO2 concentrations not to exceed ~1,200 ppm indoors, and leads to an assumption by design engineers that the now mandated CO2 measurement and abatement systems equate to better IAQ, and by proxy improved productivity. Applying a design approach to lower internal CO2 levels by increasing the intake rate of “fresh” outdoor air actually reduces IAQ in many locations. Within the built environment, this “fresh” air brings with it elevated levels of a range of pollutants including particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone. Thus, higher ventilation rates increase indoor pollutant levels with a concurrent decline in IAQ. Results of investigations will be presented that show how energy saving strategies combined with pollution from motor vehicles can lead to the introduction and buildup of these pollutants within buildings. This problem is further exacerbated when HVAC systems turn on after night setbacks in time for rush hour traffic. The combined effects can result in significantly poorer IAQ within buildings.
Improving Building IAQ Reduces HVAC Energy Cost
An important challenge facing today’s engineers is how to achieve acceptable IAQ while minimizing a building’s energy consumption. Historically, IAQ has suffered at the expense of energy conservation. However, in todays indoor air conscious environment, with its serious economic ramifications, this one-sided trade-off is no longer acceptable. Fortunately, ventilation standards, mechanical codes, and air cleaning technologies have evolved to the point that the engineer has a viable means of providing a healthy, comfortable indoor air environment while continuing to conserve energy. Options of applying filtration for code compliance and energy conservation will be discussed.
Moving Closer to Net Zero Buildings with the IAQ Procedure of ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2016
Being able to achieve IAQ goals while reducing energy consumption is one of the more valuable aspects of using ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2010: “Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality”. By meeting the requirements of the IAQ Procedure, one is allowed to take credit for the application of validated air cleaning technologies and reduce the amount of ventilation air that has to be heated and/or cooled.
Revisions to Standard 62.1 have caused some confusion in its use and the application of energy conservation measures. This presentation will discuss the current status of the Indoor Air Quality Procedure, review the applicable provisions of the Standard, discuss indoor air quality models in use, and provide examples where the IAQ Procedure has been successfully employed as part of an energy conservation program. There will also be a discussion of current activities to make it easier to validate the IAQ Procedure and make it more useful to the engineering community when designing “net zero” energy buildings.
Practical Application of Energy Conservation with ASHRAE Standard 62.1
In times when energy conservation is at the forefront of many peoples’ minds, the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Procedure described in ASHRAE Standard 62.1 is an alternative and often neglected method for complying with the ventilation requirements of the standard while at the same time offering a considerable opportunity for energy conservation. Practical applications of the IAQ Procedure will be presented to show that recirculation used along with enhanced air cleaning can effectively provide acceptable air quality, reduce outdoor air requirements, and reduce energy costs. Examples will be presented that illustrate capital, HVAC equipment, and system renovation savings as well as energy savings possible by employing the IAQ Procedure.
Proper Design and Use of Gas-phase Air Filtration Systems for the Control of Environmental Tobacco Smoke
Tobacco smoke is an extremely complex mixture of combustion products that consists of contaminants in both the particulate phase as well as the gas phase. As such, the optimum control of ETS may be achieved through the proper use of a system employing both particulate and gas-phase air filtration technologies. This talk will present a summary of research and case studies involving gas-phase air filtration will be presented illustrating its effectiveness in controlling ETS when coupled with the appropriate particulate filtration.
Protecting Against Chemical Agents of War: Applying Internal Filtration
Chemical and biological (CB) agents are effectively transported throughout a building by mechanical systems and containment of CB agents within a confined space allows concentrations to rapidly reach and sustain lethal levels. Because most facilities are not designed to accommodate sophisticated filtration systems, it has been recommended that Sheltering-in-Place (SIP) be designated for individuals to assemble in the event of a chemical or biological attack. This talk will cover what should be considered when applying SIP for the protection of occupants in the event of a terrorist attack using CB agents. It will present a basic SIP design, general costs of different CB protection options, and some examples where Sheltering-in-Place has been successfully used.
The Role of Filtration and Air Cleaning in Sustaining Acceptable IAQ through Ventilation Replacement
A number of concurrent trends are converging to invigorate the interest by designers and building owners in the usage of filtration and air cleaning (FAC) as an adjunct to the environmental conditioning of commercial and institutional buildings. These trends include the recent escalations of costs of energy in all forms; the heightened awareness by tenants and occupants about acceptable indoor air quality brought on by “bad building” publicity; the aging of the inventory of commercial buildings that were constructed to prior standards with deteriorating HVAC systems; recent numerous revisions and addenda to the ventilation standards and related unification of building codes; incentives such as green building/sustainability initiatives and potential energy related tax credits; and concerns about the protection of occupants from airborne chemical or biological contamination resulting from accidental or criminal sources.
The results of a field study are presented to demonstrate to users of the ASHRAE Standard 62.1 Indoor Air Quality method that FAC treated air can meet or exceed the anticipated quality level of outdoor dilution air. These data will also a valuable information resource for standards writing bodies and code officials who are faced with the converging needs for assuring sustained or enhanced indoor environmental quality while reducing energy demand.
Specialized Filtration Required For Museums
In museums and other “preservation environments” there are a number of factors that can cause the degradation of materials and artifacts. Among these are temperature, humidity, particulates, and gaseous contaminants. Of these, gaseous contaminants are the most destructive. This presentation will discuss the impact of gaseous contaminants in museums along with monitoring and control strategies that have been applied.
Survival in the Digital Age: Reliability Concerns for Data Center IT Equipment and Effects on Mission Critical Facilities and Operations
Lead-free manufacturing regulations (RoHS), reduction in circuit board feature sizes and the miniaturization of components to improve hardware performance have combined to make data center IT equipment more prone to attack by corrosive contaminants. Manufacturers are under pressure to control contamination in the data center environment and maintaining acceptable limits is now critical to the continued reliable operation of datacom and IT equipment. This presentation will discuss ongoing reliability issues with electronic equipment in data centers and will present updates on ongoing contamination concerns, standards activities, and case studies from several different locations illustrating the successful application of contamination assessment, control, and monitoring programs to eliminate electronic equipment failures.