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Home / Blog / Air Purification in Restaurants, Pizzerias, and Other Commercial Kitchens: Innovative Pollution Control Unit Spark Arrestors

Air Purification in Restaurants, Pizzerias, and Other Commercial Kitchens: Innovative Pollution Control Unit Spark Arrestors

Author: Michael Klepik, Chief Executive Officer

Fire Hazard Risks

In recent years, cooking with an open flame has gained increasing popularity. Today, restaurant menus and those of other food service establishments often feature grilled meats, smoked fish, and various Eastern cuisine dishes. These dishes are prepared on grills, in smokers, tandirs, and similar ovens, which have a significantly higher fire hazard compared to traditional gas stoves, electric stoves, and ovens.

All restaurants with grills and other open-flame ovens face the risk of fire. When cooking with an open flame or coals, smoke, grease, tar, and soot are released into the chimney. The smoke gases partially cool and condense in the chimney, causing the byproducts of cooking to stick to the chimney walls. Typically, when the grill or oven is ignited, this layer of grease and soot heats up, and if flames enter the chimney, these substances can ignite. This often results in a fire that can completely destroy the restaurant.
Commercial Kitchen
Commercial Kitchen
Such consequences can be prevented in two ways: periodic cleaning of the chimney from soot, grease, and tar deposits by specialized companies equipped with the necessary equipment and trained personnel, or installing spark and flame arrestors at the chimney entrance. This way, you can increase the service interval between cleanings and save money.

The main drawback of these kitchen appliances is mitigated by installing wet scrubbers for HoReCa in the kitchens — devices that cool and purify the air while protecting the ventilation from sparks. These devices perform their tasks excellently: they reduce the risk of fire and remove soot, smoke, and unpleasant odors from the air.

How Restaurants Pollute the Air

In food service establishments, the atmosphere can contain various pollutants, including:
  • Grease Vapors and Aerosols: Formed during frying and cooking.
  • Smoke and Soot: Produced when oils and fats burn.
  • Moisture and Steam: Generated during boiling and baking.
  • Food Particles and Dust: Can enter during food preparation and handling.
  • Odors: Caused by the cooking process.

These pollutants can negatively impact the health of employees and equipment, making it essential to ensure effective ventilation and gas purification.

Increasingly, States are enacting laws requiring food service entrepreneurs to clean the air of smoke, soot, and odors. However, there are few truly effective filtration systems on the market capable of operating under high temperatures and handling sparks from ovens and grills. This is why we developed the innovative air cleansing system — Torch-Air Pollution Control Unit (PCU).

Minimize Impact on Neighborhood Air Quality

Reducing the negative impact of particulate matter (PM) on health and the environment is a crucial task for any socially responsible business. It has been proven that pollution from commercial kitchens is highly carcinogenic and significantly affects disease incidence rates. By ensuring effective emission purification, we reduce the risk of illnesses and improve the environment in which we live.
The Torch-Air PCU equipment provides high-quality air purification, reducing the social negative impact on neighbors and the risk of lawsuits and inspections by regulatory authorities.

Innovative Air Purification

The Torch-Air Pollution Control Unit (PCU) is designed for extinguishing sparks, cooling, and purifying the hot airflow passing through it, which contains gas mixtures, tar substances, soot, dust, and other suspended particles, using liquid and filtering elements.

The device is employed in ventilation to remove polluted air from industrial, technological, and kitchen equipment operating both on electric power and with open flames, with an exhaust air temperature not exceeding 752°F.

The apparatus offers the following functionalities:
  • Lowering the temperature of the airflow to 104-122°F.
  • Cleansing the airflow from approximately 40% of vaporized fats.
  • Cleansing the airflow from 40-50% of soot and dust particles.
Revolutionary Air Cleansing with Torch-Air
Revolutionary Air Cleansing with Torch-Air

Air Filtration Systems Comparison

*The standard PCU filter is the most common type of airflow filtration for commercial kitchens in the USA. It is integrated into the ductwork and uses a dry cleaning method. It consists of several stages of cleansing: pocket (bag), HEPA, and carbon filters, sometimes, it is supplemented with an electrostatic.

Where Is It Used?

The Torch-Air Pollution Control Unit represents an advanced cleansing system designed specifically for efficiently purifying hot, contaminated air in commercial kitchens.
Consider this option if:
  • You are looking for an alternative to a standard pollution control unit or electrostatic filter, as they cannot handle high-temperature airflow (typically allowed up to 130°F). There is a need to reduce the airflow temperature for cleansing. This issue is relevant for pizza ovens, BBQs, open Argentine ovens, grills, etc.
  • You do not have the ability to separate airflow and have limited space. Installing and routing a chimney is expensive and not feasible. The chimney needs to be combined and directed to a wall. If it is not possible to extend it several floors up.
The Torch-Air PCU hydrofilter-spark arrestor was developed in 2018. It is the first wet filter of the accumulative-circulation type, almost completely displacing flow-through models on the market.
The Torch-Air PCU is employed on ovens that operate on coal, wood, or other solid fuels. High temperatures, and flame bursts make it impossible to use standard PCU for ducts. Our equipment is specifically designed for such tough conditions.
It reduces the operating atmosphere temperature to a level suitable for further purification. If there is a need to increase the level of purification, an additional system can be installed after the filter. For example, a two-stage system consisting of the Torch-Air PCU and an electrostatic filter has proven to be very effective. The result is completely clean air. This is the best option for eliminating all sources of pollution in the kitchen.

Cooking Equipment Applications
  • Pizza Oven
  • BBQ Smoker
  • Wood-fired Grill
  • Wood/Coal Fired
Grill in the Kitchen
Grill in the Kitchen

Features of Torch-Air PCU

Green Eco-Friendly
Autonomous — filtration apparatus requires access to water and drainage for sewer disposal. No special monitoring is required.
Reliability and durability are key components of our equipment thanks to the use of only high-quality materials in its manufacturing.
Compact dimensions and various execution options provide wide opportunities for installation.
The service life is 10 years, emphasizing its durability and long-term reliability.
Low operating costs.
Minimization of impact on the surrounding residential area.
Multiple operating modes: economical, standard, and heavy-duty. The difference between modes lies in the amount of water supplied. If necessary, special additives can be added to the liquid to increase the degree of cleansing.
Self-cleaning filter — no consumables are required.
Operating the apparatus is hassle-free. It is user-friendly and does not require special skills, making it accessible to a wide range of operators.

Pollutants Removed by Torch-Air PCU

  • Tars and oils — the device reduces the adhesion of pollutants to the flue, thereby increasing the interval between flue/chimney cleanings — saving money.
  • Soot — reduces the risk of ignition and also increases the interval between flue/chimney cleanings.
  • Unpleasant odors are removed through mass exchange with water. Additionally, various substances, such as alkali, can be added to the water to enhance the purification process.

Types of Spark Arrestors

The most reliable in terms of fire safety are equipment that use water to cool the flue gases and extinguish flames. Currently, there are two main types of wet filters:
  • Flow-through hydrofilter — the simplest and cheapest type of spark arrestor.
  • Accumulative with water circulation — the most reliable and cost-effective in operation.
Working Diagram:
1. Grease, Soot, Dust: The environment is characterized by high temperatures, smoke, sparks, and combustion products.
2. Nozzles: These feature fine liquid mist spraying that aids in completely extinguishing ignition sources and flames, as well as reducing the temperature of incoming air and partially settling smoke.
3. Three Stages of Graduated Mesh Filters: These are employed for the preliminary coarse cleaning.
4. Labyrinthine Grease Trap: Utilized for more intensive cleaning of dirty air.
5. Plate Moisture Separator: Completes the gas cleaning stage by maximally removing moisture.
6. Cooled Clean Air
7. Drainage Device: Employed to remove cleaning products from the apparatus.

Overview of Models

The modern Torch-Air Profi — Wet Pollution Control Unit incorporates all time-tested technical solutions and has been enhanced with new, more efficient elements:
  • Sprayers for dirty liquid.
  • Nozzles to create an uneven flow during automatic cleaning.
  • Droplet catcher.
  • Adaptive flanges for easy installation.
  • A set of sensors for all situations.
Torch-Air Profi
Torch-Air Mini — a compact flow-through wet PCU. It is suitable for small spaces. An optional configuration includes an accumulative tank with water circulation. The device and operating principle are the same as the Torch-Air Profi. The main difference is the more compact size.
Torch-Air Mini

Device and Operation of Components

1. Clamps are employed to secure the service hatch cover to the body of the device.
2. Service hatch cover provides access to all internal parts of the device for service and maintenance.
3. Membrane partition is employed to seal the service hatch.
4. Mesh spark arresters are used to capture sparks and large particles of soot and dust.
5. The labyrinth grease-soot separator is employed to cool the airflow and clean it from particles of condensed grease, wet soot, and dust.
6. Moisture separator is used to precipitate water droplets carried by the airflow.
7. Drain Pipe is employed for gravity discharge of contaminated water into the building's sewer.
8. Device body is waterproof and airtight.
9. Water cooling circuit has outlets with threaded connections for connecting to a cold water supply network or a recirculating tank. The circuit is also equipped with nozzles designed for fine mist spraying of liquid under cold water supply pressure, creating a water curtain inside the hydrofilter.
Grill in the Kitchen
Grill in the Kitchen
10. Inlet flange is employed to connect the device to the ventilation on the side of the apparatus that generates heat and contamination.
11. Outlet flange is used to connect the device to the ventilation on the exhaust fan side.
This comprehensive setup ensures that the hydrofilter effectively manages air quality by removing harmful particles, cooling the air, and maintaining the functionality of industrial or commercial environments.

Comprehensive Control

Ventilation, exhaust, and combustion product purification systems are fundamental when designing any catering establishment. Simple ventilation is insufficient to solve this problem due to the presence of apparatus that emits hot air, gas mixtures, tars, soot, dust, and other suspended particles.
1. Installed in the exhaust channel of a fireplace to clean it from sparks and smoke. Installation options: in close proximity to the source; in a separate ventilation chamber.
2. Installed in the exhaust channel of a restaurant oven to clean the air from smoke. Installation options: under the ceiling; in a separate ventilation chamber.
Often, industrial gas cleansing apparatus is bulky and requires significant costs for manufacturing, installation, and maintenance. This is especially relevant for small enterprises located in premises without a direct route for combustion products to the roof. In such cases, Torch-Air PCU spark arresting and gas cleansing systems, developed with advanced technologies and industry standards, come to the rescue. The pressure drop in our equipment is lower than in similar devices, which saves on the power of ventilation. Pollution Control Unit technology is completely free of consumables. Maintenance of the hydrofilter can be performed by any employee of the enterprise, leading to significant savings on system maintenance.
Company Torch-Air's Areas of Work
Our profile includes:
  • Supply, installation, and maintenance of comprehensive gas cleansing systems.
  • Production of industrial baghouses, cartridge filters, and scrubbers.
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In a Grill Bar
Installed in the exhaust channel above the grill.
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We always make extremely precise calculations and provide assistance in choosing the optimal cleaning systems, which usually takes 1 to 2 days.
Head of Engineering,
Vladimir Nikulin
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