Filter efficiency as a function of nanoparticle velocity and shape

Lucija Boskovic, Igor E. Agranovski, Igor S. Altman, Roger D. Braddock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The filtration efficiency of a conventional fibrous filter was investigated with particular emphasis on the removal of particles with different shapes. A previous study has shown that particles of spherical shape are removed from the gas carrier with efficiencies which are higher when compared to cubic particles of the same aerodynamic size. In this project, to challenge our previously made explanation, spherical PSL and cubic MgO particles were tested along with particles of sodium chloride (NaCl) of intermediate shape (cubic particles with rounded edges) at a range of filtration velocities from 5 to 20 cm/s. It was found that particles of NaCl are removed with efficiencies lower then those for PSL particles but higher than the efficiencies for cubic particles of MgO, at the lowest filtration velocity when inertial effects are negligible. The rounded NaCl particles, depending on the geometry of the contact, could either land on the rounded corner and hence roll, land on a sharp edge and hence tumble, or slide. This range of options alters the probability of detachment of the particle. The difference between the filter efficiencies for cubic MgO particles and intermediate shaped NaCl particles is decreasing with the increase in velocity. With increasing velocity, the filtration efficiency of the cubic MgO particles, exceeds the filtration efficiency for the intermediate shaped NaCl particles, due to the dominating inertial effects of the denser, and hence heavier, MgO particles. This paper shows the results of these experiments and, we hope, will ignite the interest of the aerosol community towards further theoretical analysis of the phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-644
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Aerosol Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Filter
  • Particle re-entrainment
  • Particle removal
  • Particle-fiber interaction


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