Gas ventilation is a procedure which is used to ventilate gases safely to the outdoors so that they cannot pose a threat to human health or complicate the operation of a device. Classically, ventilation is accomplished with the use of piping and ductwork which carries the gas or gases to the outside. It may also include things like fans, fume hoods, and other features which are designed for specific applications.
One of the most widespread forms of gas ventilation is ventilation designed to deal with flue gases. Flue gases are the byproducts of combustion. In addition to posing a threat to human health, flue gases can also act as a damper, putting out a fire. Venting flue gases ensures that a device which burns fuel for energy will continue to work efficiently, and keeps the environment around the device safe.
The simplest gas ventilation for flue gases is just a basic flue which is designed to create draft which pulls the gases up the flue and to the outside. Sometimes, a fan may be used to drive flue gases up the pipe. The pipe can also include filtration for the purpose of trapping specific gases and particulates so that they cannot be released into the environment.
Gas ventilation is also used in environments where people work with or around gases, such as chemical companies and scientific laboratories. In this case, fume hoods may be used to confine gases to a specific area, with fans pulling gases through the hood so that they cannot linger. The system may also include sensors which can sound alarms in the event that a dangerous level of gas buildup occurs, alerting people to the need to evacuate until the accumulation can be addressed.
Landfills also use gas ventilation. Levels of methane can become very high under a landfill, potentially leading to explosions and fires. To combat this, flues are sunk into the ground to pull the methane out of the landfill and vent it harmlessly into the air. If anyone has wondered what the function of the mysterious pipes which peek out of a landfill might be, now they know.
The needs of a gas ventilation system vary, and the types of gases being vented, volume of material which needs to be vented, and frequency of facility use must all be considered when designing a ventilation system. Specialists are often consulted to make sure that a design is properly engineered and as safe as possible.