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What is Class Zero air

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    Discover what Class Zero Air is and why it’s crucial in industries requiring the highest air quality standards. Learn about its benefits, how it’s achieved with specialized air compressors, and its role in maintaining a contamination-free environment.

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    What is class 0 air?

    ISO 8573.1 and ISO 12500 give a classification system to measure the ability of compressors to measure the primary pollutants in compressed air systems. The standard offers various compressor purity grades and identifies possible contaminants in the system. The classification system has nine categories.

    What is class 0 air, and how does it work?

    Contaminants and purity classes provide a compressed air specification system for significant contaminants in compressed air systems. Zero-grade air represents the best possible air quality and ensures that the compressed air is oil-free. Class 0 air compressors meet strict guidelines and specifications to provide the highest possible level of air quality.

    Class 0 air compressors deliver world-class performance and ensure exceptional efficiency, reliability, and quality. A high-quality air compressor prevents oil contamination that can lead to production downtime, product damage, or even product recalls. Using a high-quality air compressor ensures your brand maintains its reputation and productivity.

    Air quality standards

    Researching different compressed air systems is fundamental to following best practices for using compressed air. In most cases, users choose air compressors by comparing the technical data of equipment manufacturers. The International Standards Organization (ISO) developed the 8573 compressed air quality standard to help users compare important information about compressors more carefully. ISO 8573 tells how to measure and define compressed air quality.

    ISO developed the 12500 filter standard to help users understand how manufacturers test and evaluate compressed air filters. ISO 12500 helps define vital performance details, including compressed air temperature and pressure measurement.

    ISO 8573.1

    The ISO 8573.1 air standard specifies three main types of contaminants that are prevalent in compressed air systems:

    a) Compression process contaminants

    During the compression process, impurities can be introduced into the compression system. Common contaminants include lubricant from the compressor, vaporized lubricant, and wear particles.

    b) Built-in contaminants

    Built-in contaminants include compressed air systems that contain common impurities, including mineral deposits, bacteria, rust, or pipe scale.

    Surrounding compression systems

    ISO 8573 1 Class zero oil free

    Contaminants around compression systems can enter the air system through the compressor intake. These pollutants may include airborne particles, hydrocarbon vapors, or water vapor.


    ISO 12500 establishes a standard to define key performance indicators to provide users with verifiable system performance indicators. ISO 12500 is a multi-part standard used to quantify the ability of adsorption filters to remove vapor particles. This filter standard works well with the ISO 8573 air quality standard and provides users with essential details about the performance of their air compressors. ISO 12500 tests the ability to coalesce filters to remove oil mist, adsorption filters for vapor removal, and particulate filters to remove solid contaminants.

    Here are the details of the different parts of ISO 12500:

    a) ISO 12500-1:2007

    ISO 12500-1 specifies the test procedure and layout for testing the ability to coalesce filters to remove oil mist and defines the overall removal performance of the filter.

    b) ISO 12500-2:2007

    ISO 12500-2 provides a method for indicating the performance of an adsorption filter and its overall ability to remove vapor from the air.

    c) ISO 12500-3:2009

    ISO 12500-3 outlines metrics by which particulate filters can be tested for their ability to remove solid contaminants.

    Oil-free and class 0 air compressors

    Oil-free compressors are essential for producing a range of products, including paper, pharmaceuticals, and semiconductors. Even tiny amounts of oil in these applications can damage the product and trigger product recalls. The term oil-free air compressor means that the compressor meets specific standards to achieve the highest quality certification. At BISON Compressors, our QOFT compressors, QOF compressors, and WIS compressors are all oil-free and certified for class zero air:

    1. a) QOF series compressors

    QOF oil-free scroll compressors are class-zero compliant and offer class-leading performance. Prioritizing superior efficiency and quality, QOF scroll compressors deliver outstanding sustainability and minimize your total cost of ownership. These air compressors can operate in any environment while maintaining productivity.

    1. b) QOFT series compressors

    The QOFT Series compressors provide 100% oil-free air, industry-leading precision, and reliability. QOFT air compressors are used in many industries, including pharmaceuticals, food and beverage processing, fermentation, wastewater treatment, and more. These air compressors feature advanced control and networking capabilities in a rugged design and easy maintenance.

    1. c) WIS series compressors

    WIS oil-free water-injected screw compressors offer oil-free technology and increased efficiency with advanced water cooling capabilities. The cold temperature of the compressed air helps reduce stress and wear on components to ensure longevity. The water-injected screws of these compressors produce efficient and near-isothermal compression.

     Advantages of class 0 air compressors

    Air purity is critical to many applications and businesses. Oil-free air compressors are designed to meet zero-class air specifications and follow the ISO 8573-1 air standards and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compressed air requirements. Their advantages include the following:

    a) Energy efficiency

    A high-quality air compressor can increase energy efficiency and benefit a company. For greater energy efficiency, many compressors feature improved technology, including superior water cooling capabilities.

    b) Regulatory compliance

    Air compressors can help businesses meet operating regulations, including FDA compressed air requirements, to deliver the purest possible air. Many industries can take advantage of high-quality air compressors, including electronics, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage services. Class 0 air compressors provide sophisticated equipment and technology to protect products from contamination.

    c) Oil-free clean air

    Oil-free air compressors provide the highest possible level of air purity and prevent the risks of contamination. Moreover, oil-free air can help your business achieve FDA clearance.

    d) Innovative technology

    These compressors feature the latest oil-free technology for increased efficiency and productivity. The compressor technology is class zero compliant and protects against product recalls and brand reputation damage, preventing even the most minor oil level from contaminating your product.

    e) Reliable engineering

    Reliable compressor engineering creates a long-lasting product that maximizes uptime. Combined with strong engineering, routine and proper maintenance are critical to extending the life of your air compressor.

    f) Reduced maintenance costs

    Many air compressors are low maintenance and low operating costs. Smart care enables machines to be serviced faster and cheaper. Convenient access panels allow quick access and maintenance during routine service visits.

    g) Lower cost of ownership

    Oil-free technology reduces potential expenses because these compressors do not require costly filter replacements. There is also no additional cost to deal with filter pressure drops. In addition to low maintenance costs, oily condensate treatment costs are also low.

    Często zadawane pytania dotyczące Co to jest powietrze klasy zerowej?

    In specific industries and applications, the purity of compressed air is critical, and the best air quality is required to reduce the risk of contamination of compressed air, end products, and other items throughout the production process. These industries include pharmaceutical, food and beverage, automotive, electronics, medical, laboratory, aerospace, semiconductor, refinery, and chemical.

    Oil-free air is critical in these industries because even the smallest amount of oil as a contaminant can have damaging effects-- such as contaminating the end product due to poor quality end product, damaging production equipment, causing downtime, or damaging your brand reputation and product rejection.

    Because the terms oil-free and techinically oil-free are used interchangeably with class 0 oil-free air. Many businesses and individual consumers  end up purchasing compressors that are not suitable. Also, purchaing the wrong air compressor can lead to costly or even dangerous operations in worst-case scenarios.

    Think medical air. the patient cannot breathe oil particles, so class 0 air must be used. Likewise, oil can lead to product contamination in electronics manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage production, and even textiles, which is costly and potentially dangerous to customers.

    Zero air has had hydrocarbons removed through a catalytic oxidation process to keep its total hydrocarbon content below 0.1 parts per million (PPM).

    OSHA defines class d air as breathable with the following characteristics: 19.5-23.5% oxygen--Hydrocarbon ( condensed) content ≤ 5mg per cubic meter of air. The carbon monoxide is ten parts per million (PPM) or less.

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