Liquid Consumption of Wetted Wall Bioaerosol Sampling Cyclones: Characterization and Control Academic Article uri icon


  • Advances in microfluidic, lab on chip, and other near-real-time biological identification technologies have driven the desire to concentrate bioaerosols into hydrosol sample volumes on the order of tens of microliters (L). However, typical wet biological aerosol collector outputs are an order or two of magnitude above this goal. The ultimate success of bioaerosol collectors and biological identifiers requires an effective coupling at the macro-to-micro interface. Liquid collection performance was studied experimentally for a family of dynamically scaled wetted wall bioaerosol sampling cyclones (WWCs). Steady-state liquid collection rates and system response times were measured for a range of environmental conditions (temperatures from 10C to 50C and relative humidities from 10% to 90%), liquid input rates, and WWC airflow configurations. A critical liquid input rate parameter was discovered that collapsed all experimental data to self-similar empirical performance correlations. A system algorithm was then developed from empirical correlations to provide control over the liquid output rate and resulting concentration factor for a cyclone with an airflow rate of 100 L/min. Desired liquid output rates of 25 to 50 L/min were maintained while sampling outdoor air over diurnal ranges of environmental conditions. These flow rates are associated with concentration factors on the order of 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 and liquid outputs that are a steady stream of 10 to 30 drops/min of 7 to 10 L droplets. These developments should allow wetted wall cyclones to be effectively coupled to advanced biological identification systems. American Association for Aerosol Research.

published proceedings

  • Aerosol Science and Technology

author list (cited authors)

  • Hubbard, J. A., Haglund, J. S., Ezekoye, O. A., & McFarland, A. R.

publication date

  • January 1, 2011 11:11 AM