Earlier this year, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) began the process of installing an air cleaning technology known as Bipolar Ionization (BI) in response to the airport’s new cleaning protocol implemented to remedy passenger and employee concerns about COVID-19 pandemic. This technology is being installed to PHL’s more than 450 air handling units to reduce or prevent the spread of diseases and airborne pathogens throughout the airport complex. To date, the project is more than 50 percent complete.
BI technology has been used for many years to clean the air in buildings and public spaces. It works to produce positive and negative charged oxygen ions that travel through the duct system and into the conditioned room where they interact with the airborne particles, germs, and contaminants. Ions bond with contaminants to gain size and they transform into clusters. The clusters are then caught by air filters installed inside the air-handlers and removed from the air flow resulting in improved indoor air quality for commercial buildings and facilities.
BI has been or is in the process of being installed in all areas of PHL's terminals, concourses, baggage claim facilities, pedestrian bridges, maintenance support building, warehouses, and International Plaza 1 and Division of Aviation offices. Of the 450 installed air handling units, 255 have been updated with BI technology this year. The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2022.