Joseph Tabor1, Emily Sarver This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, John R. Saylor2

1 Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA

Received: June 8, 2021
Revised: August 24, 2021
Accepted: September 10, 2021

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Cite this article:

Tabor, J., Sarver, E., Saylor, J.R. (2021). A Fog-and-Tube Scrubber for the Removal of Diesel Particulate Matter from Engine Exhaust. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 21, 210134.


  • Diesel particulate matter (DPM) is a health hazard in some environments.
  • A novel treatment to remove nano-scale DPM from engine exhaust has been tested.
  • A high density of micron-scale fog drops are mixed with the exhaust in a long tube.
  • On average, 63% of particles (11.5–154 nm) were removed from exhaust in field tests.
  • Responsible mechanisms appear to be DPM-drop coagulation followed by drop removal.


Diesel particulate matter (DPM), the solid portion of diesel exhaust, has been linked to a range of deleterious health impacts. While a number of control strategies have been effective at reducing DPM in some environments, exposure risks are still high in others such as underground mines. In prior work, a novel scrubber treatment that used fog to remove DPM from engine exhaust was successfully prototyped in bench-scale laboratory experiments. Here, for the first time, the treatment concept was scaled up and field tested in a stone mine. An exhaust blower was used to pull fog, diesel exhaust, and mine air through a 30.5-meter long tube, enabling coagulation of DPM and fog drops resulting in their subsequent removal. Excluding one of the eleven tests, which appeared to be an outlier, the results showed that this fog-and-tube scrubber removed an average of 63% of particles (11.5–154 nm) as compared to 18% in the control case (without fog), yielding an average improvement of 45%. Computer simulations suggest that the observed particle removal is predominantly due to rapid thermal coagulation between the DPM and fog drops, followed by removal of the DPM-laden drops via inertial impaction with the tube walls.

Keywords: Diesel particulate, Ultrafine aerosol, Exhaust treatment, Occupational Health

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