Concept for an electrostatic focusing device for continuous ambient pressure aerosol concentration

Woo, Joseph L.; Sareen, Neha; Schwier, Allison N.; McNeill, V. Faye

We present a concept for enhancing the concentration of charged submicron aerosol particles in a continuous-flow stream using in situ electrostatic focusing. It is proposed that electrostatic focusing can enable the continuous, isothermal concentration of aerosol particles at ambient pressure, without altering their chemical composition. We model this approach theoretically and demonstrate proof of concept via laboratory measurements using a prototype. The prototype design consists of a nozzle-probe flow system analogous to a virtual impactor. The device was tested in the laboratory using submicron, monodisperse stearic acid particles. Particles were charged using a unipolar charger then concentrated using a cylindrical electrostatic immersion lens to direct the charged submicron particles into the sample probe. Under applied lens voltages ranging from 0 V to 30 kV, aerosol concentration increased up to 15 %. Observed particle enrichment varied as a function of voltage and particle diameter. These results suggest that an imposed electric field can be used to increase aerosol concentration in a continuous flow. This approach shows promise in increasing the effective enriched size range of virtual impactors or other continuous-flow methods of collection.



Woo, Joseph L. / Sareen, Neha / Schwier, Allison N. / et al: Concept for an electrostatic focusing device for continuous ambient pressure aerosol concentration. 2019. Copernicus Publications.


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