Chenghang Zheng, Dawei Duan, Qianyun Chang, Shaojun Liu, Zhengda Yang, Xintao Liu, Weiguo Weng, Xiang Gao 

State Key Laboratory of Clean Energy Utilization, State Environmental Protection Engineering Center for Coal-Fired Air Pollution Control, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China

Received: November 5, 2018
Revised: March 10, 2019
Accepted: March 16, 2019
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Cite this article:
Zheng, C., Duan, D., Chang, Q., Liu, S., Yang, Z., Liu, X., Weng, W. and Gao, X. (2019). Experiments on Enhancing the Particle Charging Performance of an Electrostatic Precipitator. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 19: 1411-1420.


  • Effects of the main component of a particle on particle charging was examined.
  • A series of methods to enhance particle charging in ESP were developed.
  • The average charge units of a particle can be increased by more than 50%.


Particle charging is an essential process for electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) in removing particles. A particle charge measurement system, which can adjust the flue gas temperature, was designed to study the effects of the flue gas parameters (viz., temperature and humidity), particle composition, and discharge electrodes on particle charging. The particle charge increased with the temperature when the applied electric field strength was constant. For particles with a diameter of 0.73 µm, the average charge increased by 30% (from 140 e to 183 e) when the temperature increased from 300 K to 363 K. Furthermore, with a constant electric field strength of –4.2 kV cm–1, the average charge increased by 98% when the relative dielectric constant increased from 4.5 to 11.8. Increased relative humidity significantly accelerated particle charging. For particles > 0.1 µm, the average charge increased by more than 50% when the relative humidity increased from 30% to 80%. Optimizing the discharge electrode also enhanced charging. After the wire electrode (d = 1 mm) was replaced by a ribbon electrode, particle charging increased by more than 75% for 0.7 µm particles at –4.2 kV cm–1.

Keywords: Particle charging; Temperature; Humidity; Discharge electrode; Relative dielectric constant.


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