A peripherally located air recirculation device containing an activated carbon filter reduces VOC levels in a simulated operating room

22 September 2022, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Electrosurgery procedures produce airborne contaminants including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The effectiveness of commercial grade activated carbon at removing toluene, a typical VOC, from the air in an enclosed simulated operating room when interfaced with an air recirculation device was tested. The concentration of toluene in the air was measured using gas sensitive semiconductor VOC sensors. When the air recirculation device containing activated carbon was turned on, the concentration of toluene in the air decayed exponentially. When the device was off, the toluene concentration reduced much more slowly. After 130 min., a VOC sensor placed near the air recirculation device showed VOC reductions of approximately 30% when the device is on and less than 1% when the device is off. Changing the activated carbon filter after 22 h of constant use showed an abrupt increase in the rate of toluene removal.


activated carbon
operating room
air quality
medical device
air cleaning


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.