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Fully Regenerable Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) System

Pall’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological & Nuclear protection system (CBRN) is an effective tool in removing chemical warfare agents from contaminated air.  The principal part of the unit is a regenerable pressure swing adsorption (PSA) system which offers full protection against all known and potential threats, unlike traditional carbon technology.  

In the Spotlight



  • Fully regenerable
  • Independently verified by Edgewood (ECBC), Dstl (Porton Down), TNO and Battelle. German WIS verification in process
  • Patented immobilization process
  • PSA units can be back flushed at elevated temperature to clean and return the unit to its original condition.
  • PSA system can be integrated with an environmental control system. For further details, see Pall’s partner on the Terrier® program, AMETEK Aircontrol Technologies


  • "Fit and Forget" unit
  • Excellent broad band CBRN protection (high and low boiling agents, TIC's, TIM’s)
  • Reduced logistics burden, minimum maintenance
  • Immediate protection with no need to leave the battleground
  • Passed "live agent" testing
  • No dusting of carbon or adsorbent

How Does It Work?

The CBRN protection system consists of several filtration components. The first stage consists of a Centrisep® inertial separator, a coalescer and a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter to remove particles, nuclear contaminants, biological contaminants and liquids. The second, key part of the system is a PSA unit that removes all known chemical warfare agents.

PSA Principle of Operation

The system operates by adsorbing contaminants while under pressure. The contaminants remain trapped on the adsorbent, and clean air passes through.

There are two PSA beds that operate in sequence; one is on-line and the other is offline being purged. This cycle repeats continuously at regular intervals.

Phase 1

The purified air passes through the on-line PSA bed and is available for use, while the off-line PSA bed is cleaned by rapidly reducing its pressure to ambient (hence pressure swing) and back flushing with a proportion of the purified air from the on-line unit. The back flushing causes the trapped contaminants released by the pressure swing to be exhausted back into the external environment.

Phase 2

After a pre-defined period, the on-line bed needs to be cleaned and is taken off-line. The pressure is quickly reduced to ambient as the change-over valves are activated.

Phase 3

The previously flushed bed becomes the on-line bed and the bed that was on-line is now back flushed. After a pre-defined period, the on-line bed needs to be cleaned and the cycle continues.



CBRN Protection for Following Applications

Military Vehicles Military Aircraft Helicopters

Image copyright BAE Systems.
All rights reserved.

The Pall PSA system can be installed in a variety of platforms. To determine if your application is suitable, contact your local Pall sales representative.



  • 1991 - Pall PSA system installed and flown on US Army AH-1S Cobra helicopter. Tested at Battelle Memorial Institute.
  • 2002 - Pall and AMETEK selected for Technical Demonstrator Program (TDP) on Bulldog APC FV430/432.
  • 2004 - Pall CBRN technology installed and flown on ASTOR Sentinel R1 aircraft.
  • 2010 - Pall and AMETEK selected by BAE Systems to supply Terrier® CBRN protection system.

Terrier® is a registered trademark of the UK Secretary of State for Defence.