Measurement and capture of fine and ultrafine particles from a pilot-scale pulverized coal combustor with an electrostatic precipitator. Academic Article uri icon


  • Experiments were carried out in a pilot-scale pulverized coal combustor at the Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) burning a Powder River Basin (PRB) subbituminous coal. A scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) and an electrical low-pressure impactor (ELPI) were used to measure the particle size distributions (PSDs) in the range of 17 nm to 10 microm at the inlet and outlet of the electrostatic precipitator (ESP). At the ESP inlet, a high number concentration of ultrafine particles was found, with the peak at approximately 75 nm. A trimodal PSD for mass concentration was observed with the modes at approximately 80-100 nm, 1-2 microm, and 10 microm. The penetration of ultrafine particles through the ESP increased dramatically as particle size decreased below 70 nm, attributable to insufficient or partial charging of the ultrafine particles. Injection of nanostructured fine-particle sorbents for capture of toxic metals in the flue gas caused high penetration of the ultrafine particles through the ESP. The conventional ESP was modified to enhance charging using soft X-ray irradiation. A slipstream of flue gas was introduced from the pilot-scale facility and passed through this modified ESP. Enhancement of particle capture was observed with the soft X-ray irradiation when moderate voltages were used in the ESP, indicating more efficient charging of fine particles.

published proceedings

  • Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association (1995)

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Li, Y., Suriyawong, A., Daukoru, M., Zhuang, Y. e., & Biswas, P.

citation count

  • 20

complete list of authors

  • Li, Ying||Suriyawong, Achariya||Daukoru, Michael||Zhuang, Ye||Biswas, Pratim

publication date

  • January 2009