BATAVIA, Ill. - No one likes to tell nervous gamblers they can't smoke. In fact, the most prevalent air quality concerns for casinos tends to be how to treat air contaminated when tobacco is burned.

BATAVIA, Ill. - No one likes to tell nervous gamblers they can't smoke. In fact, the most prevalent air quality concerns for casinos such as the Grand Victoria in Elgin tends to be cigarette and cigar smoking and how to treat air contaminated with the thousands of particles, vapors and gases created when tobacco is burned.

According to some studies, as many as 50% of the occupants in a casino may be smoking at the same time. And when you are open from 8 a.m. to 6 a.m. (that's 22 hours a day) every day of the week, that's a lot of tobacco smoke.

Tobacco smoke consists of nicotine, tars, acetaldehyde, acrolein and many other substances that can irritate the human body.

The reason tobacco smoke is so hard to remove from the air is because these contaminants exist in many forms. Tar and nicotine, for example, exist in an aerosol-like vapor. In other words, every plume of smoke consists of tiny little droplets of liquid tar and nicotine. Acetaldehyde, for another example, are gases.

To completely remove cigarette smoke and smell from the air, you have to remove the contaminants from the air. That means removing contaminants that are in gaseous, vapor and particulate forms.

The air quality devices that were designed and manufactured by Sparks Technology, Inc. in Batavia are five stage systems. These filtering systems blend several technologies (including patented BPS Technology) to create a high-capacity, high-efficiency system.

Activated carbon equipment keeps recirculated air clean and odor-free, so less outside air is needed. This leads to cost savings in operating cooling and heading equipment as well as the related maintenance costs.

Also, because the equipment will reduce the tar residue that settles in a room, cleaning costs will also be reduced. Curtains, carpets, and upholstery do not as quickly accumulate the yellow-brown tar that stains and attracts particulate dirt.

When the Sparks Technology, Inc. equipment is installed in a room already filled with smoke, the company claims it takes only a few minutes for the smoke to be eliminated once the machine is turned on. The residual liquid tar that has already settled on walls and furniture can be eliminated only as fast as it evaporates because the equipment can clean it only in its airborne state.

Depending upon how much smoking was done and how long it continued before the equipment was employed, it may take from hours to several days to finally eliminate the stale odor of tobacco from the room.

BPS, for Bonded Particulate Structure, is a patented process that entails binding activated carbon (or other suitable adsorbent or catalyst) into a monolithic structure with a polymeric binder while maintaining a very high level of open pore structure. No post activation of the carbon is required after bonding because the adsorption properties - such as i.e. BET surface area, pore size distribution, and butane or carbon tetrachloride - remain the same.