JM helps develop award-winning escape hood

Avon Protection Systems recently won an award at the Counter Terror Expo for their CBRN/carbon monoxide escape hood which features technology developed by Johnson Matthey.

The award, presented on 6th March at London’s Olympia exhibition centre by former UK Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, is for their NH15 Combo Escape Hood. The stable, lightweight hood provides portable protection from chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) and carbon monoxide exposure.

Through a partnership with Anglo, Johnson Matthey developed a catalyst based on platinum group metals (pgms) to provide protection from carbon monoxide poisoning for first-responders. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, tasteless and odourless gas which is produced by the incomplete burning of carbon based fuels such as gas, coal, oil and wood. It is toxic at very low concentrations and, if inhaled, can be lethal.

Able to remove high concentrations of carbon monoxide from air, the catalyst performs under ambient conditions and has long term stability in the presence of the speciality carbon adsorbents which are typically used in respiratory protection filters. This gives it a significant advantage over gold based CO oxidation catalysts which are prone to deactivation by components of the carbon adsorbent.

JM’s Head of R&D, Phil Hughes, said: “It’s great to see the hood and technology recognised at the Counter Terror Expo. Given our breadth of experience and capabilities in the areas of pgms, catalysis, modelling, manufacturing and process optimisation, we were in a fantastic position to meet Avon’s requirements.

“The development of this particular catalyst means that those on the front-line will have at least 15 minutes of breathable air, which will give them valuable time to get themselves to safety.”

To date, JM has sold enough catalyst for 40,000 respiratory protection devices, providing reassurance to emergency personnel who find themselves in dangerous situations daily.

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