Lipeng Su1,2, Qian Du 1, Min Tang 2, Qisheng Ou2, David Y.H. Pui2,3

School of Energy Science and Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150001, China
Particle Technology Laboratory, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518172, China

Received: April 16, 2019
Revised: July 20, 2019
Accepted: September 13, 2019
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Cite this article:
Su, L., Du, Q., Tang, M., Ou, Q. and Pui, D.Y. (2019). Effects of Particle Hydrophilicity and Morphology on Aerosol Scavenging in a Wet Electrostatic Scrubber. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 19: 2331-2340.


  • Droplet charging provides a long-distance force to capture submicron particles.
  • Droplet charging has the higher efficiency increment on hydrophobic particles.
  • Under low concentration, higher efficiency was obtained for loose agglomerates.


In this work, influences of particle hydrophilicity and morphology on its removal by electrically neutral and positively charged water droplets were investigated experimentally in a home-made chamber. Potassium chloride (KCl) and Di-Ethyl-Hexyl-Sebacate (DEHS) and agglomerated KCl aerosols were successively adopted as representative testing cases and each test was carried out batchwise. The results showed that minimal collection efficiency of DEHS particles (hydrophobic) could be improved from 38% to 82% due to droplet charging after spray for ten minutes, which is a significantly greater increment than that of KCl particles (hydrophilic) after same charging-spray time. Additionally, droplet charging enhances the operational stability of traditional spray to collect DEHS particles in tested sizes while contributes most to removal of KCl particles only in low concentration and intermediate size. As a comparison with nearly spherical particles (KCl), a higher collection efficiency by electrically neutral droplets corresponds to loose agglomerates in low particle concentration due to interception mechanism, but the difference could be weakened by an addition of electric field onto water spray.

Keywords: Hydrophilicity; Particle morphology; Droplet charging.


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