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My interest in Mycology and Tissue culture started long back which led me to collect few laboratory equipment like Petri dishes, test tubes, weighing equipment, measuring glasses and also chemicals like Hydrogen Peroxide, Agar-agar and Potassium Permanganate. One equipment I wanted most but beyond my reach was a Laminar Flow Hood.

A Laminar Flow Hood provides a small sterile work area, where you can carry out all your culture works without the risk of contamination, simply by flowing completely purified air at a specified rate. However, the cost of the simplest form of the equipment is very prohibitive... the one with the very lowest specifications costs more than one thousand US Dollars... large corporations, universities, and research institutions can afford this but individual  hobbyists like me can not.

The alternative...? Construct your own equipment...

There are two main types of Laminar Flow Hoods : Horizontal Airflow and Vertical Airflow. In a horizontal type, the purified air is blown from the back and moves towards the front of the working area. In a vertical type, the air is blown from the top over the working area and moves out through the base

I have carried out extensive study and came out with a design for constructing a Horizontal type Laminar Flow Hood, making use of a vacuum cleaner for the blower and press board / Plexiglas for the hood body thus reducing the cost considerably.

This Instructable will provide you step-by-step instructions on how to build your own portable Laminar Flow Hood without any compromise on standard specifications.

Step 1: Vacuum Cleaner as Blower for a Flow Hood...?


Are Vacuum Cleaners Suitable for Laminar Flow Hoods as blowers...?

I have used Euroclean Star model vacuum cleaner to be used as blower in the flow hood. Let us check out the facts for its suitability for quality and effectiveness for being used in a flow hood.

Filtration:

The model I used consists of unique five stage filtration process and the air coming out after filtration is pure and fresh...

The first stage involves the incoming air to pass through a special particle, anti-microbial, biocide treated paper filter which has been treated for protection against bacteria, fungus and yeast. This paper bag is replaceable and can be used for up to five times. However, for better results, we can use fresh bag whenever we use the laminar flow hood. This air then passes through a cloth bag, which filters out any particle which escapes through the paper bag. This bag can be removed, cleaned and then placed again in position. The next three stages involve the air to pass through specially designed built-in electric filters with carbon which blows out completely pure fresh air.

I have removed the outer-most filter and provided a cheaper version of High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter between the air chamber and the work area. I have also added a pre-filter to remove any heavier particles before the air is sucked into the vacuum cleaner.

Work area provided by the blower

Laminar flow hoods are designed to provide an air-flow of about 0.5 meters per second in the working area. The blower efficiency of the model I have used is 20 liters per second, that is 0.020 cubic meters per second including all filters. I have removed the outer most filter from the outlet for connecting the outlet pipe, and used the HEPA filter instead.

With 0.020 cubic meter of air per second, let us see how much work area it can cover

Air flow provided by the blower = width of HEPA filter x height of HEPA filter x air speed required

therefore,
Work area (width x height) = air flow / air speed
                                            = 0.020 / 0.50
                                            = 0.04 square meter

Now, if we provide HEPA filter area of 0.27 meter width x 0.15 meter height, the available work area will be 0.04 square meters, which is sufficient for the effective functioning of the flow hood. I have provided the filter dimensions of 0.29 meters width by 0.15 meters height, considering the size of HEPA filter I could lay my hands on.

Advantages of using a Vacuum Cleaner as blower

There are some advantages in using vacuum cleaners, which may not be provided in a Laminar Flow Hood

  • The air input level can be adjusted using a slider provided with the vacuum cleaner as per our requirement. Not all blowers in the laminar flow hoods are provided with adjustable air flow.
  • There is also an option to heat the input air, which will be helpful in sterilizing the air chamber and back side of the HEPA filter which can not be normally accessed.
  • What is more, you can vacuum clean the air-tight Air chamber by reversing the airflow by the vacuum cleaner unit.
  • The vacuum cleaner unit can be separated from the Laminar Flow Hood, which is not at all possible with a normal unit.
The only disadvantage of using a vacuum cleaner is its limited airflow which limits the size of the sterile work area.

I think a suitable vacuum cleaner will serve the purpose of blower in a small Laminar Flow Hood for hobbyists, thus reducing the cost as well as the weight of the flow hood considerably.
<p>WOW this is great! It's a great development. Thanks for sharing! Could you please send me all info by email? I can't download the PDF. Thanks!!</p>
Please give me your mail ID and I will send the details.<br><br>Alternately, I will give you the code for 3 months Pro membership which will allow you download as many articles you like
<p>Hi Antoniraj, </p><p>Thanks for your response! Please send me the files/details to my email:</p><p>watto1999@hotmail.com</p><p>(I've sent a previous message with a mistaken email, so I've deleted it!)</p><p>Thank you!!</p>
<p>No problem, please go through files sent to your mail</p>
<p>Thank you so much Antoni!!<br>I really appreciate your help on this regard! Many blessings to you!</p>
Very helpful. Sir could you please mail me those valuable Information to jithintr@gmail.com
Please see attached files sent to your mail
A most genius design and idea!! Could you email me the documents as well please? Thank you Antoniraj!
please give me your mail id...
<p>Oh my gosh this is AMAZING!</p><p>Please I would be very grateful if you could send me all the documents too!</p><p>thank you so much!</p><p>399nik@gmail.com</p><p>Thanks thanks thanks</p>
<p>Please go through the attached files sent to your mail</p>
Thank you very much Antoniraj!!!<br>Really appreciated!
<p>This is wonderful and I thank you for your time and effort. If would be so kind would you please send the attached files to sunraeljah@gmail.com also. I am much obliged and have a awesome day. Thank you.</p>
<p>Please go through the attached files sent to your mail</p>
<p>Wonderful<br>Instructable! I have been trying to figure out a way to use a fairly<br>strong HEPA blower/fan<br>(?) I got from a friend of mine when he was moving and it has never been used<br>but it doesn't fit the &quot;filter&quot; pictures I've been seeing<br>its round like a canister and has the HEPA filter wrapped around it with<br>a fan blowing air OUT at one end thus all air that is being pulled in <em>through </em>the<br>filter. I was wondering if you think it could be used somehow for a portable<br>Flow Hood? Any ideas on that matter? I tried to make a 'glove box' with a clear<br>plastic tub turned upside down and the HEPA filter blowing in to sterilize the<br>interior air. There were pressure problems right away with so much air<br>blowing into a &lsquo;sterile air&rsquo; container with nothing but the strip of door<br>insulation I used to try to make a snug fit between the bottom of the box<br>(which was the storage tub's original lid) and the storage tub itself<br>failed miserably. Not to mention the 4&rdquo; of PVC pipe I used to attach my gloves<br>to wouldn't stay sealed in the holes I had cut into the sides of the clear tub while<br>trying to use the gloves working inside of the box. </p><p>I&rsquo;ve drawn a rough sketch (on Word no less!) of the HEPA<br>unit I am trying to describe but I&rsquo;m not sure how to send it to you.</p><p>You can email me at joem104 at gmail.com if you like.</p><p>By the way I LOVE your choice for favorite quotes! Robert A.<br>Heinlein is one of my favorite authors I love the way he thinks or &ldquo;Grorks&rdquo;<br>things. I believe that was the phrase he used in his book &ldquo;A Stranger in a<br>Strange Land&rdquo;.</p><p>Sincerely,</p><p>Micki A.</p>
You can cut and remove the HEPA filter from the round canister and mount it in a rectangular frame.. It is very easy. I have recovered a filter like that from a round canister. The fan provided with the canister may not be sufficient for blowing out the air required for the laminar flow hood. You can use a separate blower or use a suitable vacuum cleaner as I did here.<br>Please also refer the files sent to your mail for further information
<p>Hi, would you be willing to send me details on how to construct this at clio.byrne-gudding@yale.edu? Thank you!</p>
<p>Please see attached files sent to your mail</p>
<p>Hi, can you please send me details on how to make this!! pngulu@gmail.com. Thank you.</p>
<p>Please go through the attached files sent to your mail</p>
<p>Ingenious! would you please send me the details at dont.forget.the.trees@gmail.com Thanks for sharing your work!</p>
<p>Please go through the attached files sent to your mail</p>
<p>Please email instructions to pinealplatypus@gmail.com This is such a wonderful idea! Kudos to you! :)</p>
<p>Please go through the attached files sent to your mail</p>
Hi, can you please send me details on how to make this!! Thebloomingjungle@gmail.com thanks nick
Please see attached files sent to your mail
Hi would you be able 2 send me details on how to make 1 please to richardsteventon@hotmail.co.uk it's a great idea
<p>Please see that attached files sent to your mail for more information</p>
Thanks great help
I would like to have the detailed instructions. This is great! boonkiat88(a)live.com
<p>Please see that attached files sent to your mail for more information</p>
<p>Great work! I would love the instructions as well! Veronique2012@gmail.com</p>
<p>Please see that attached files sent to your mail for more information</p>
<p>I would also love the detailed instructions: cclark07869(a)gmail.com</p>
<p>Please see that attached files sent to your mail for more information</p>
<p>This is excellent, Thanks for sharing, can you send me the detailed instructions as well?</p><p>cwyothers{a}gmail.com</p>
please see attached files sent to your mail
<p>How inventive! May I please have detailed instructions as well? </p><p>joshmsay @ gmail.com </p>
<p>thank you... please go through the attached files sent to your mail</p>
<p>i would love to have the file as well in order to build it myself , krmelie@live.com ...</p><p>did you test it and used it in culture plantation ? whats the feed back ?</p>
please see the attached files sent to your mail. I have not tried it but will do soon.
Very creative!! I would love the detailed instructions so I can make one myself. If you could send the file to douglasmyle21@gmail.com I would really appreciate it. Thank you for taking the time to share this.
<p>Thank you... Please go through the attached files sent to your mail</p>
<p>could you plz send me the files also?</p><p>Very much appreciated!</p><p>Thank you either way.</p><p>jimmyrnstewart@gmail.com</p>
<p>Please go through the attached files sent to your mail</p>
<p>You made a brilliant and simple solution for a huge $$$$$ problem. Could you share the instructions with me, please? (maurocanaval@gmail.com). Thanks a lot!</p>
<p>Thank you. Please go through the attached files sent to your mail</p>
<p>Wow, Antonioraj, well done..! I already have a very old Eureka forbes vaccum cleaner we thought of discarding. I suppose I found a fit project to repurpose it. Are the HEPA filters the same as the ones that are used in Window Air Conditioners in India? Please share the instructions with me on elite158 at gmail.com. Tons of appreciation in advance. </p>
Sorry for my late reply due to Holiday season. Regarding the HEPA filter, you can use any type used in air conditioners or in some vacuum cleaners or any other equipment you come across. Make sure the area of the filter suits the capacity of the vacuum cleaner you use. Please go through the attached files sent to your mail for more information
Absolutely fantastic..!!! Will keep in touch with you during the making process. Thanks a ton for the files..!!! <br><br>

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Bio: I like to make things more simple with easily available resources. My favorite quote: A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan ... More »
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