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FAQ Asura Frequently asked questions about Erlab and Erlab filters

Please read this selection of the most frequent questions


Erlab, the worldwide specialist in molecular filtration systems for 43 years has expanded our Erlab filters and maintenance department so that we now manufacture replacement filters for all brands of ductless fume hoods and have them available for purchase online at  Below is a selection of our most frequently asked questions.

Questions :

1 I’ve been told that active carbon used in fume hood filters are more or less all the same, no matter who the manufacturer is. I’ve even heard a claim that the carbon used for fume hood filters is the same type that is used for purifying aquarium water! Is this true – is there only one type of active carbon? Answers
2 I understand that when using a ductless fume hood it is necessary to use different filter types depending on what is being used inside the hood. Can you explain the different carbon filter types available from Erlab and the Erlab department?  Answers
3 Why do certain manufacturers propose 8 or even 10 types of filters and you offer only 4? Some are even made for specific use with hydrogen sulphate and others to cyanoacrylate. Are Erlab filters limited to what they can handle since you don’t offer these options? Answers
4 How do I know if your filtration is an appropriate solution for me? Answers
5 How many molecules have you tested against your filters? Answers
6 How long will the filter last? Answers
7 What standards are the basis for your claims? Answers
8 What is the AFNOR NF X 15-211 standard? Other manufacturers state that their filters meet this standard... why doesn’t ERLAB and its Erlab make that claim? Answers
9 How does your filter production differ from your competitors? Answers
10 You follow strict safety standards, but what about your quality commitment? Answers
11 I have read that you offer replacement filters for CAPTAIR® products but also for other brands. Is that correct? Answers
12 Are your prices competitive? Answers
13 How can I order my filters? Answers
14 What is the delivery time if I order a filter today? Answers
15 Can you provide us with some information on Erlab? Answers

Answers :

1/ There are hundreds of active carbon varieties, each with a specific function. Certain active carbons have been developed to adsorb and then desorb in order to recover precious solvents or metals such as gold for example. Others are used as molecular sieves like in chromatographic column cases. Other types of active carbons are made to never desorb, like military gas masks for example. Erlab filters are like these.

Erlab specializes in making filters for ductless fume hoods that contain active carbon that is specially formulated to capture and hold on to any molecules that are adsorbed. Not all active carbon filters are the same, even across ductless fume hood manufacturers.


2/ Erlab has been the expert in fume hood filtration since 1968. We have an applied research laboratory equipped with top-of-the-line equipment and a specialized R&D staff. These specialists are in charge of, amongst other things, determining the type of active carbon applied to the specific use of Erlab’s CaptairFlex Fume Hoods, the GreenFumeHood and now Erlab filters.

Erlab does not buy standard activated carbon. We have developed a carbon for our filters exclusively. We work with specialized partners to produce one of the most versatile active carbons in terms of molecular adsorption. We specify a strict set of rules which are then meticulously controlled during production at our refinery and then again once it arrives at our laboratory. We always ensure that it meets international ASTM standards, AFNOR NF X 15 211 and BSA result standards.
Our experience in filtration allows us to offer 4 types of filters to cover a wide variety of laboratory applications.

Finally, we have developed a 5th type of filter based on Neutrodine® technology which ensures the user additional versatility, unequalled by other carbons available for fume hoods.

3/ Quite the contrary! The quality of our carbon allows us to handle these chemicals without the need for multiple filter types.
4/ Erlab’s #1 priority is safety and to be sure that our product is a perfect fit for your needs we study the chemicals you plan to use in your hood prior to the sale.
Our laboratory analyzes over 6000 handling operations per year - studying interactions between evaporated molecules and the ability of Erlab filters to meet your protection needs.
5/ Over 500 molecules have been tested and approved against our filters – and this number is growing every year. All approved chemicals are listed in a guide supplied with Erlab filtered enclosures.

6/ When we study your application for compatibility, we are also able to determine how long your filter will last based on what types and quantities of chemicals you are using.

Thanks to the superior quality of our carbons, you will find that the average service life of an Erlab filter (and therefore its molecular adsorption capacity) is often better than that of our competitors’ filters.


7/ Relevant standards to carbon as a raw material, i.e. the ASTM D2862-82; ASTM D2854-83; ASTM
D2867-83 and ASTM D5742-95 standards. These standards govern respectively particle size distribution, ash content, humidity level and finally butane adsorption capacity of the activated carbon. These raw material tests are in no case a quality test in relation with safety.

That is why the design of our filters has been the subject of laboratory-based aeraulic studies, to
optimize adsorption parameters of carbon contained within them.


8/ The AFNOR NF X 15-211 standard addresses performances of a fume hood or recirculating fume hood as a whole (containment, air face velocity, filtration system efficiency) but it does not define in any case filter properties alone isolated from its filtration system.

A filter alone therefore cannot comply with this standard! Erlab, a manufacturer of filtered enclosures compliant with the AFNOR NFX 15-211 standard applies the same level of requirement on its Erlab filters production.


9/ We have developed filter shells specifically designed to prevent any unsettling and wall effects that would have a negative influence on filtration quality and the filter’s longevity.

We offer two types of filter shell for depending on your hood type: an electro-galvanized steel shell that prevents any risk of corrosion and a shell made of a specially patented injected polypropylene (PP) envelope.


10/ Each Erlab filter is subject to a quality control procedure ensuring the traceability of its production cycle. Each of our filters is identified by a serial number, a manufacturing date and a packaging date.

Moreover, each filter is supplied with a certificate of compliance. We also pay particular attention to our products packaging in order to guarantee perfect operation and storage after delivery.

11/ Exactly! We have a particularly wide-ranging catalog. We offer molecular filters for over 350 models of ductless fume hoods and vented storage cabinets representing 18 different brands for a total of almost 1800 references!
12/ Our position as the world leader in the fume hood market also allows us to benefit from very favorable conditions for our carbon supplies. Furthermore, Erlab manufactures thousands of filters and has automated its production lines. We can therefore sell our filters at lower prices than those offered through manual productions.
13/ You can buy your Erlab filters directly from the website and pay online by debit/credit card. You can also contact us directly by telephone, fax or e-mail and choose another payment method. Finally, Erlab also has a large network of official Erlab filters distributors worldwide.
14/ Our production equipment allows us to respond to any request within a few days. Usually, our filters are available within 2 working days.

15/ Erlab has been in operation since 1968 and has been recognised as the specialist in molecular filtration systems for 43 years.
Erlab research and development laboratory is equipped with the most sophisticated investigation and inspection equipment (gas chromatography, FID detectors, mass spectrometer, Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, ASTM test bench, NFX 15-211 standard test bubble) and six laboratory specialists, including two chemists and two doctors in physics and chemistry, who are constantly working on improving filters for the Neutrodine® filtration system.

Erlab has thee production and sales sites, Erlab Inc. in the USA, Erlab Sas in Europe and Erlab Ltd. in China, as well as sales offices in Malaysia, Spain and China. Erlab group of companies have an Erlab department specialised in the maintenance of fume hoods and GreenFumeHood®.