Special issue in honor of Prof. David Y.H. Pui for his “50 Years of Contribution in Aerosol Science and Technology” (I)

Sheng-Chieh Chen This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Qingfeng Cao2, Thomas H. Kuehn2, Charles Lo2, Manoranjan Sahu3, Yelia S. Mayya3, David Y.H. Pui2 

1 Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA
2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA
3 Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India

Received: November 30, 2022
Revised: December 24, 2022
Accepted: December 26, 2022

 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.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.220437  

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Cite this article:

Chen, S.C., Cao, Q., Kuehn, T.H., Lo, C., Sahu, M., Mayya, Y.S., Pui, D.Y.H. (2023). Design of a Medium Scale Ambient PM2.5 Cleaning System. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 23, 220437. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.220437


  • A 20 m by 20 m filter-based cleaner is designed to provide 1000 m3 s–1 PM2.5 reduced air.
  • Designed W-shape filter bank to reduce the face velocity and increase efficiency.
  • Designed filters have high efficiency and dust holding but low pressure drop.
  • CFD predicted the effectiveness of PM2.5 reduction zone as large as 350 m in diameter.
  • Cost to build the cleaning system is only $200 per capita and can save many lives.


High concentrations of ambient particulate matter (PM) have caused millions of premature deaths annually worldwide. The source control strategy was normally implemented to bring the PM pollution down to meet the standards. However, it took more than 50 years for UK and US. As PM pollution is hurting people’s health on daily basis in many countries, a fast and inexpensive control technology should be developed to remedy the slow pace of source control. It should be applied in highly polluted areas, e.g., cities and industrial parks, where people are spending a considerable time outdoors. In this study, a medium-scale filter-based blower-driven cleaning system was designed based on a computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulation and experiments. We found the system with a dimension of 20 m (L) × 20 m (W) × 23 m (H) using 40 sets of 40-HP blowers can output ~1000 m3 s1 (CMS) of cleaned air. In PM removal, the design of the system, including the filter specifications, filter bank arrangement, and filter quantity, is crucial which results in the PM filtration efficiency, filter service life, and energy consumption. The clean air delivery rate (CADR), the product of the system flow rate (1000 CMS) and filtration efficiency (> 80%), is expected to be more than 800 CMS or ~70,000,000 m3 day1 (CMD). The experiments showed that the filter service life is expected to be 2 and 6 months for the prefilter and final filter, respectively, under total suspended particulate and PM2.5 concentrations of 600 and 300 µg m3, respectively. The CFD simulations showed the area of the effective PM2.5 reduction zone (> 50% PM2.5 concentration reduction) is as large as ~300 m in diameter by this system. The CFD model also shows deploying 400 cleaning systems with 1 km apart, the PM2.5 reduced zone can cover an area of 400 km2.

Keywords: PM2.5, Lung cancer, Filtration, Electret, Area control

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