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Open Access Development of an Electrostatic Precipitator for Off-Line Particle Analysis

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Due to the lake of in-situ aerosol particle analysis systems, aerosol samples are taken and analyzed off-line. For detailed analysis of particle properties such as shape, morphology, and composition, off-line operating analytical tools like light microscopes, scanning electron microscopes (SEM), total reflection x-ray fluorescence (TXRF), and so on are used. The analysis must be performed on a representative sample of particles homogeneously deposited on a flat sample plate. This avoids sample preparation steps which may change the sample. In this paper we describe the design, construction, and evaluation of a continuous sampling device that deposits gasborne particles on an analytically suitable sample plate. The collection efficiency and the deposition pattern were optimized using a numerical model and experiments. It turned out that representative samples appropriate for further analysis can be taken in the particle size range from 0.03 mu m < Dp < 10 mu m. Additionally, the sampling efficiency was investigated for particles smaller than 0.03 mu m using electrical and non-electrical deposition mechanisms like diffusion and thermophoresis. The investigations performed demonstrate that the designed electrostatic precipitator (ESP) is a very useful tool for homogeneous particle deposition on analytically suitable flat sample plates and can be used as a back-up filter. Further, the ESP especially can be used in combination with a differential mobility analyzer (DMA) if detailed investigations of a narrow particle size range of a polydisperse aerosol are required.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1999-05-01

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