Crystal Fragrance Lampe
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A fragrance lamp, also known as a perfume lamp, effusion lamp, catalytic lamp or simply by the name-brand Lampe Berger, Bel-Air, Scentier or many other brands is a catalytic diffusion lamp that purifies the air while imparting a fragrance. The catalytic combustion technology was originally developed in the 1800s for use in hospitals and mortuaries. A Frenchman named Maurice Berger was the first to receive a patent on the technology (in 1897) and the company he founded, Lampe Berger, is the largest worldwide manufacturer of the device though there are a growing number of companies making catalytic fragrance lamps. It is believed that molecules that cause bad smells are inherently unstable and the fragrance lamp’s flameless, low-temperature catalytic combustion speeds up the decomposition process, converting odor molecules into harmless substances (such as carbon dioxide and water). Research has shown that the catalytic process can also effectively eliminate up to 85% of bacteria in a room for up to 30 hours after initial operation has stopped. While the medical use of the technology has waned, modern innovation has found a new application for the lamps in homes and offices. Using an unscented lamp fuel a catalytic diffusion lamp may reduce bacteria and various odors (pets, food, tobacco). With fragrance added to the isopropyl alcohol based lamp fuel the catalytic burner lamp becomes a fragrance lamp, diffusing aroma into the air while it purifies. Some perfumes are based on natural aromatics (essential oils), giving the lampes an aromatherapy application as well.
The fragrance lamp’s process is initiated by lighting the stone burner seated at the mouth of the lamp. After a few minutes the flame is extinguished by blowing it out, but the heated burner remains active as the flameless, low-temperature catalytic combustion process and diffused aromatics. The lamp does not operate with an open flame, making the fragrance lamp much safer to operate than scented candles. Its lower operating temperature also means that, unlike scented candles, the aromatics are diffused very efficiently into the ambient air without being burned. One of the by-products of these fragrance lamps is low-level ozone, which has been attributed to the “purification process” of the lamps in reducing bacteria and eliminating odor.
It is difficult to verify the claim that scientific evidence supports the use of these lamps as it is difficult, if not impossible, to find the relevant research.
The lamp fuel contains 90% isopropyl alcohol and should be regarded as a highly flammable liquid. Furthermore, to start the catalytic wick according to the instruction it is necessary to light the cathalytic burner with a flame and let it burn for approximately three minutes until it reaches the correct operating temperature. At this point the flame should be extinguished in order for the oil to be diffused. Precautions should be taken to avoid any possible hazards:
Make sure the fuel container is in perfect condition, perfectly tight and not leaking.
When not in use, make sure the airtight cap is on at all times to prevent evaporation (alcohol vapour/air mixture is highly flammable).
Do not leave unattended during operation.
Do not use in an unventilated room.
Do not inhale, ingest, or use the lamp fuel in any other manner.
Take extreme caution while refilling the fragrance lamp. Make sure there is ventilation, and that there is no open flame.
In case of any spillage, wipe the area carefully before lighting the lamp.
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Isopropyl Alcohol Hazard and Care
Categories: LampsHidden categories: Orphaned articles from February 2009 | All orphaned articles | Articles needing additional references from July 2007 | All articles needing additional references | All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements from November 2008
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