Nonwovens to control our immediate environment

According to a 2015 study by EDANA, the international association serving the nonwovens and related industries and the sponsor of the INDEX™17 show, the nonwovens filtration market is expected to grow from $3.5 billion in 2014 to $4.6 billion in 2019, representing an annual growth rate of 5.6%, making filtration one of the fastest growing markets for nonwovens.

An increased awareness of the need to control our immediate environment at home, in the workplace or while traveling, leads filters to play an essential role in our everyday lives. Noora Blasi, Marketing Manager, Engine and Industrial Filtration and Advanced Filtration at Ahlstrom is convinced that, “Changes in demographics, in the healthcare industry, and in resource scarcity are the key drivers contributing to the changing needs of end users.”

Clean air and drinking water, infrastructure improvements as well as the replacement of textiles and paper filter media, make filtration the fastest growing market for nonwovens. Automotive filtration remains the largest application for nonwoven filter media, followed by water and air filtration.

Visitors and exhibitors will gather at INDEX17, the world’s leading nonwovens exhibition, in Geneva from 4th-7th April 2017, to gain first-hand knowledge of the latest developments in nonwovens for filtration applications, with exhibitors showcasing the astonishing functional qualities of these versatile materials. For the first time, FILTREX™, the leading conference and meeting point for the filtration industry will take place at PALEXPO in parallel with INDEX17 (5th-6th April), thus bringing together the worlds of filtration and nonwovens.

The deadly cost of air pollution

According to a 2016 World Bank study “The Cost of Air Pollution”, carried out in co-operation with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, air pollution costs the world trillions of dollars a year and severely impedes development in many countries. The World Bank found that in 2013 – the year from which the latest available estimates date – the annual cost of dirty air to the United Kingdom was $7.6 billion, to Germany $18 billion and to the United States $45 billion. In addition, the study reveals that air pollution is still the fourth leading cause of premature deaths worldwide, causing lung cancer, heart disease and respiratory problems. Air pollution must be made a priority and governments are slowly changing their legislation. Many factories worldwide have enforced the installation of filter bags – between 10,000 – 25,000 of these are employed in the average coal plant in China.

Indoor air pollution, the next challenge

Air pollution is a common issue in industrialized countries, however this problem does not stop at your doorstep. A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that the air inside homes can be even more polluted than outside. Such is the case in even the largest and most industrialized cities.

Solvents used to treat furniture, emissions produced from cooking, household products and soot from candles are among the long list of pollutants that can be found inside the home. This presents new opportunities for nonwovens. Filters made from nonwoven fiberglass and activated carbon – with rapid adsorption dynamics – are now being used by a number of forward-looking hotel chains in Europe now, often employing low-energy nonwoven air filters … and this is only the beginning.

For more information on INDEX™17 visit www.index17.org