Patents: US 8,398,752 B2 ; US 8,728,212 B2
Designed, Developed and Invented by Jerry & Kathy Brownstein
The Xextex (X-TEX) Corporation, USA
1420 NW Gilman Blvd #2227
Issaquah, WA 98027
Air (HVAC) Consultant: Jesse Sheppard, Commercial Filter Sales and Service, Inc.
Legal Consultant: David R. Frankel, Adjunct Professor of Law, University of WA
Finally, The World Can Breathe Easier!
Overview: Innovative Project Objectives and Challenges
Air X-TEX™, our patented HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) air filter invention, is the first air/furnace filter with its three principal components made from clean recycled materials. By replacing the virgin materials that conventional filters are made from with recycled cardboard, recycled scrap metal, and processed discarded polyester/plastic polyethylene terephalate (PET) beverage bottles, Air X-TEX filters will save thousands of trees, loads of steel, and will keep millions of polyester/plastic type bottles out of landfills, oceans, lakes and waterways.
Moreover, Air X-TEX filters are shown to be more efficient than conventional filters at cleaning dust, germs, soot, pollen, molds, dander, and many other contaminants from the air. We all know that cleaner air in the work environment helps increase employee productivity.
Air X-TEX filters also reduce overall energy use and energy costs, along with CO₂ emissions from energy consumption, by about 17 percent, based on national averages. Because 40 to 50 percent of the energy used in homes and businesses is for heating and air conditioning, the potential energy savings and CO₂ reduction from replacing conventional air filters with Air X-TEX filters would be enormous.
The main challenges we faced were producing recycled fiber from polyester/plastic type drink bottles that would be fine enough to blend into a stable fiber medium able to remove contaminants from the indoor environment, and minimizing the energy needed to do this.
Using our polyester and textile expertise we conducted repeated testing of fiber sizes and lengths from recycled water and beverage bottles to produce a promising sample for further development and testing. We commissioned a major filter manufacturing company to produce sample filter fabrics, using our formulas. These samples were subjected to extensive uniform testing by a respected industry laboratory. We used the test results to adjust the fiber blend until we achieved the balance of positive overall filtration performance characteristics and energy and carbon emission reduction we were seeking, and proved that a highly efficient air filter fabric could finally be produced.
Achieving this balancing of energy efficiency and performance using recycled materials was a great challenge. Our results demonstrate that Air X-TEX can deliver cleaner air in our homes and work places with major improvements to the environment through massive waste, energy and CO₂ reduction. We estimate that substituting Air X-TEX for conventional air filters would save over 18 million gallons of oil a year, in just the total virgin air filter manufacturing process alone.
Air X-TEX Construction Details and Filtration Performance
Our filters are made from incorporating recycled materials (except for adhesives), without sacrificing performance – and even improving it in significant ways.
There are three construction components common to an air filter; the frame, the filter fabric (media) and the wire guard that protects the filter fabric from, among other things, being sucked into the fan.
- The frame is a heavyweight, high strength, and high density moisture-resistant paperboard, with a cross member design that increases filter rigidity and prevents breaching. It is produced from 100% recycled cardboard products.
- The filter media has a stamped out metal support grid that is bonded to the air-exiting side of the filter to maintain pleat uniformity and prevent fluttering. The metal support grid is produced from 100% recycled metals.
- The fabric or filter media is made from recycled polyester/plastic PET fibers produced from discarded beverage and water bottles. The bottles are ground into flake and melted, and the molten polyester is then put through strainers with different size holes to produce threads (measured in ‘deniers’). Blends of proprietary sizes are used to make our filter media.
- Our recycled synthetic media does not support microbial growth.
- We endeavor to utilize only clean 100% recycled materials in our filters. Market conditions may cause different percentages from time to time, beyond our control.
It takes approximately eight ounces of oil to produce the average conventional air filter from virgin materials. If Air X-TEX filters were substituted for the estimated 300 million filters a year used in the USA, we could save about 18,750,000 gallons of oil every year just on virgin filter production! This does not include the energy and oil savings that could be achieved in actual use.
The filtering abilities of air filters are quantified and rated using an industry standardized numerical “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value” (MERV) rating. The MERV rating allows consumers to compare the abilities of different air filters to capture and hold dirt and dust in specific size ranges. Higher MERV ratings mean fewer dust particles and other airborne contaminants pass through the filter.
Air filters for residential use often have relatively low MERV ratings, ranging from about MERV 1 to about MERV 4. Such air filters are generally incapable of removing particles smaller than about ten microns. Air filters having a MERV rating ranging from approximately MERV 5 to MERV 8 are commonly used as high-end residential air filters and for commercial applications. MERV 8 air filters will collect particles as small as 0.35 microns (mean size). (An average human hair is about 150 microns in diameter.)
While many different types of air filters are currently available, there are no air filters like or close to Air X-TEX that combine the desirable characteristics of:
- Being made from recycled products and materials.
- Achieving a desirable MERV 8 rating
- Exhibiting a relatively lower pressure drop, which corresponds to the amount of energy required to move air through the filter
- Being able to reduce carbon emissions (greenhouse gases)
- Having greater dust holding capacity, prolonging its superior performance
Comparisons and Test Results
Energy Efficiency and Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Air Filters
Anyone who says they can save your company money by charging less for a filter is not giving you the complete picture.
The purchase price alone of an air filter is a small portion of the total costs of using it.
Life cycle cost components of an air filter:
19% - cost of filter
80% - energy used to overcome air flow restriction of filters
1% - disposal
In a typical variable frequency drive application, the average high capacity pleated filter has an “initial resistance” of about 0.28 w.g. @ 2000 cfm, while the Air X-TEX high capacity pleated filter has an initial resistance of only 0.23 w.g. @ 2000 cfm. This means that other filter companies could give their conventional filters away for free and it would still cost end users an average of $48.00 more per year in energy, per filter, compared to Air X-TEX, based on national energy averages.
|Purolator/TFS Mark 80-D
||0.26 w.g. (24X24X2 @ 2000 cfm)
|Flanders Pre Pleat HV
||0.29 w.g. (24X24X2 @ 2000 cfm)
|AAF Perfect Pleat HCM8
||0.29 w.g. (24X24X2 @ 2000 cfm)
|Air X-TEX Recycled HC
||0.23 w.g. (24X24X2 @ 2000 cfm)
MERV 8 test results (PDF)
Over 300 million conventional air filters are produced in the U.S. each year. With the patented Air X-TEX filter, we now have the possibility of substituting a filter that consumes waste to make its three components. Our project processes and converts ordinary disposed items, namely discarded polyester/plastic (PET) beverage bottles, metal waste and cardboard materials, into efficient energy-saving air filters. Think of the waste reduction, the energy saved, and the reduction of CO₂ emissions by recycling rather than making more new materials! By substituting Air X-TEX for conventional air filters, we will save thousands of trees, loads of steel, and recycle millions of water and other beverage bottles. And let’s not forget the 18,750,000 gallons of oil we could save each year. Another bonus is the dust holding capacity of Air X-TEX filters is far greater than other filters in the MERV 8 H.C. class, extending the life and peak performance of the Air X-TEX filters.
We have calculated that using Air X-TEX filters instead of conventional filters will reduce the average energy used for air filtration, energy costs and CO₂ emissions by about 17% based on national averages.
|What’s in your HVAC system?
Air X-TEX is the Future of Air Filtration!