Aircraft recirculation filter for air-quality and incident assessment

Steven J. Eckels Prof., Byron Jones Prof., Garrett Mann, Krishnan R. Mohan, Clifford P. Weisel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The current research examines the possibility of using recirculation filters from aircraft to document the nature of air-quality incidents on aircraft. These filters are highly effective at collecting solid and liquid particulates. Identification of engine oil contaminants arriving through the bleed air system on the filter was chosen as the initial focus. A two-step study was undertaken. First, a compressor/bleed air simulator was developed to simulate an engine oil leak, and samples were analyzed with gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry. These samples provided a concrete link between tricresyl phosphates and a homologous series of synthetic pentaerythritol esters from oil and contaminants found on the sample paper. The second step was to test 184 used aircraft filters with the same gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry system; of that total, 107 were standard filters, and 77 were nonstandard. Four of the standard filters had both markers for oil, with the homologous series synthetic pentaerythritol esters being the less common marker. It was also found that 90% of the filters had some detectable level of tricresyl phosphates. Of the 77 nonstandard filters, 30 had both markers for oil, a significantly higher percent than the standard filters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-326
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Aircraft
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Aircraft recirculation filter for air-quality and incident assessment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this