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R284 Humidifier Assessment

Publication Date: 
24 August 2011
Author/Contact :
Jeff Peters

Contractor :
SBCSR & Crop Systems Ltd

Full Research Project Title: Evaluating the efficacy of a screen humidity cell in filtering pathogens and other particulates out of air in potato stores
Duration: June 2006 - December 2006

Aim: To assess any effects of humidifier cells on levels of pathogens, development of disease, and other particulates in air in potato stores.

Evaporative media humidifiers which pass air through a water laden membrane producing air saturated with water vapour. This process potentially provides a filtering effect and the purpose of this work was to examine to what extent an evaporative media humidifier (Munters Humimax HM2 4000) filtered out fungal spores and bacteria from air in potato stores.

The work involved a comparison of the Munters HM2 4000 and an ultrasonic nozzle humidifier and the number of fungi and bacteria in store air were determined by counting the number of colonies that grew on dishes containing a growth medium.

The amount of fungal contamination in the recirculating air was the same irrespective of whether the Munters HM2 4000 or an ultrasonic nozzle humidifier had been in operation. The amount of bacterial contamination in the recirculating air was much higher in the store where an ultrasonic nozzle humdifer had been in operation compared with a store with the Munters HM2 4000. It is likely that the atomised water itself was the source of the contamination.

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