Filters & Filtration Technologies – The Lifesavers!


ASHOK PANDEY is Divison Head-Automotive, Freudenberg Filtration Technologies


In a country which is running parallel to big polluting nations hand in hand, knowledge is of utmost concern. Millions of Indians are facing serious health hazards due to the highly toxic air in major cities, including New Delhi and Mumbai. In fact, more people have died of air pollution in India than China, according to a Greenpeace study. The study shows that outdoor air pollution has killed 3,283 people daily in India in 2015, compared to 3,233 in China.

During the recent smog in Delhi, the Air Quality Index hit 999, almost 16 times higher than the safe standard recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). And we are just talking about the air one breathes when outdoors. What about the air one breathes while driving? Does one check that too, given that Indians spend a lot of time driving?

According to the findings of an APAC survey by a top automobile manufacturer, 49 % of respondents in India spend at least 12 hr (half-a-day) or more than 100 minutes every day driving their cars. About 14 % respondents have admitted spending up to three hours behind the wheel every day.

Over the years, owning a car has become more of a necessity than a lifestyle choice. India, the world's fifth largest passenger car market by volume, is expected to become the third largest by 2018. According to International Energy Agency (IEA), India's passenger car ownership will grow by 775 % by 2040!

With more cars on the road, it is essential that one tackle air pollution in every way possible. While there are multiple sources of air pollution other than vehicles, one of the ways in which one can combat it is by innovating on newer filtration technologies that will help clean up the air. This is, of course, besides reducing/ preventing processes that create the pollution.

Most people even have a misconception that closing the car window while driving can protect them from outside air pollution. On the contrary, it exposes individual with more pollution if the vehicle is not equipped with proper filters. Without a clean, effective car air filter, you and your passengers are likely to inhale dust, pollen, mold, bacteria and even ozone or volatile organic compounds (VOC). It is especially dangerous for patients, who are asthmatic or have allergies.

Let's talk about a few automotive filters and filtration technologies that arbitrate air quality and cleans it by making 'life of cars' and 'life in cars' healthier and longer:

1. Micron Air Particle Filters

These are air filters that protect against fine dust, pollen, road dust, abraded particles, soot, bacteria, industrial dust and other inhalable ultra-fine particles. Exhaust fumes from diesel vehicles contain fine dusts and soot particles, smaller than 2.5 micrometers. They are particularly hazardous as they can trigger inflammations in the lung and transport toxic substances, leading to respiratory tract diseases, cardiovascular complaints and asthma. Even carcinogenic effects are attributed to them and allergy sufferers are particularly at risk.

2. micronAir Combi Filters

Besides the above-mentioned features, these air filters have an additional layer of activated carbon to adsorb odours and gases such as benzene and ozone. Small solid particles and gases, which are smaller by a factor of 10 mn, penetrate into the deeper regions of the lung. Ozone can cause one to get headaches, cough or irritated eyes. The activated-carbon layer in the micronAir combi filter can take care of even ozone to a certain extent.


a. Enhance Visual Clarity

Dirt and dust particles accelerate the fogging of the windows in the car as they retain moisture within the enclosed cabin and significantly limit one's view. High tech micronAir cabin air filters clean these air particles, ensuring cleaner windows and clearer view-reducing the risk of accidents by 80 %.

b. Enhance Air Purity

Due to internal odour or poor quality outdoor air, often the air conditioner has to run in recirculation mode, resulting in increased carbon monoxide inside the car. Again, since occupants consume the oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide (CO2), the concentration of CO2 in the car rises steadily. It's a potential health risk when CO2 crosses the actual limit, which shows up through symptoms like tiredness, headaches and lack of attention. micronAir cabin air filters provide fresh and particle-free air in the vehicle, maintaining the CO2 level and thus warding-off concentrate matter – another accident causing the issue.

c. Safeguarding Against Pollen

micronAir filters help protect allergy and asthma sufferers against sneezing and watery eyes. Such allergic reactions quickly lead to an increased risk of accidents: A sneezing attack at a speed of 80 km/h leads to 25 m blind driving.


To sum it up, an efficient filter medium with a high dust holding capacity, uniform fold profile and high stability are the most important features of a premium cabin air filter. It's important that these elements are notified and checked by car manufacturers. In vehicles without a cabin air filter, CO2 concentration levels may be as much as six times higher than the values at the roadside. If filters are of low quality, customers will be the victim to allergic reactions, breathing tract diseases, cardiovascular problems and asthma. Poor air quality can pose serious risks to people not just outside their homes, but also inside their cars.

Exposure to traffic fumes, industrial emissions, construction dust, burning trash and other sources of pollution pose serious health risks, including higher risks of cancer, stroke and heart disease. If the air quality inside the car deteriorates to hazardous levels, what could be left of a nation where the population spends a lot of their time in driving? Nearly 700,000 people die in India each year due to the toxic air quality, and experts say the toll is likely to rise in the coming decades.

It is time for all sectors to join hands to fight air pollution. Let's give a better life for our future generations.