Mechanico-Chemical Ventilation of Hospitals etc.
Can a circumscribed atmosphere, vitiated by the respiration of an animal confined in it, be rendered normally pure ? Chemistry furnishes a certain reply - it can. That is to say, the generated carbonic acid being absorbed and an amount of oxygen added proportionate to the quantity existing in the carbonic acid.
The Engineer - in writing on this subject, says - We have no hope that the scheme of mechanico-chemical ventilation can, or at least will, be applied to ordinary dwellings. Not only would the cost be too great, but the necessary mechanical and chemical conditions would be wanting. We can see no reason, however, that would debar its application to hospitals and sanitariums, and possibly to barracks and prisons.
Surely workhouses would be as readily ventilated on this principle as prisons ? Why should prisons be preferentially suggested ? Take an extreme case. Let the proposition be to ventilate a fever ward, in a situation where fever is endemic, to ventilate it with pure normal air. Surely there can be no difficulty in pumping the necessary supply of air through cream of lime, to effect separation of carbonic acid, sulphurous acid, hydrosulphuric acid, and aqueous vapour; then through oil of vitriol to effect separation of ammonia. The result would be air almost chemically pure, so far as the chemical agents specified are concerned, and probably the fever miasma would also have been eliminated. In certain cases, it might be thought desirable to medicate the injected air, to charge it with ozone, for example. This, again, could readily be done in a way we need not stop to particularise.
Source: The Builder 1869 Vol XXVII 27th November 1869 p956
Submitted by Alan Longbottom.
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