Monday, April 23, 2012

The air you breath in a Plane - Stale or Fresh?

Do you travel a lot? If yes then you might be interested to know if the oxygen level in the plane is sufficient for you, and for everyone in it.

Or most importantly, is the air that we breath in a plane 'clean'? Can you pick up a bug while in a plane cabin?

Opsss! That's not the runway.

First of all, the air in the cabin is not sealed in. Fresh air is continuously introduced during the flight. A plane’s jets are already sucking in and compressing huge volumes of air to burn with the aviation fuel. Some of this is diverted for the passengers to breathe. Because the compression heats up the air, it must first be ducted around the wings to be cooled down.

The air already in the cabin is passed through high-efficiency hospital-grade HEPA filters to remove bacteria and viruses and then mixed 50:50 with the fresh air from outside. The excess cabin air is vented through valves to the rear of the plane to keep the cabin pressure constant.

So, not as bad as I thought?

The air in the plane’s cabin is completely replaced around 15  to 20 times an hour, compared to about 12 times an hour in an office building. But the most important thing is controlling the temperature and removing contaminants.

The oxygen that all the passengers breathe is lesser by 1% compared with the fresh oxygen entering the cabin. So, yes, not as bad as you think.

Further readings:
1) How is aircraft cabin air recycled during flights?
2) Airplane air
3) Science focus.

Unique code: 4VF4BCX5XUBE


c'axoera ヅ said...

is this capture in Singapore US?

tehr said...

Dah banyak kali juga aku naik kapal terbang ni
Tak pernah pula terfikir mengenai udara kat dalam tu
Selalu lebih kepada takut je

rainfield61 said...

I'll open the window if I need more fresh.


de engineur said...

@c'acoera. Yes Spore universal studio.

@tehr. Takut apa pula tu, bro?

@rainfield61. Great idea. I think I'll try that one out on my next trip.. Haha

Alv0808 said...

I never think about that..seriously..

de engineur said...

@Alv0808. Apparently it's something passengers need not worry too much about. Surely this would be one area that aircraft manufacturers would consider critical.