Development and optimization of the electrostatic precipitator with superhydrophobic surface (EPSS) Mark II for collection of bioaerosols

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We recently developed an electrostatic collector for bioaerosols that electrostatically deposits biological particles onto a 3.2 mm electrode covered by a superhydrophobic substance. The deposited biological particles are removed and collected by rolling water droplets (20 or 40 microliter) which results in high concentration rates. The collector has been improved further by integrating it with an electrical charger. Here, we describe the development and optimization of the charger and collection chamber, while maximizing collection efficiency and minimizing particle loss. The resulting sampler is made of static dissipative material (e.g., Delrin), is shaped as a closed half cylinder, and is integrated with a charger. The sampler's round top section contains eight carbon fiber brushes (ion sources to charge particles), while its flat bottom section holds a rectangular collection electrode (254 × 3.2 mm) made of pressed carbon fiber and coated with a superhydrophobic material. The optimized configuration of the EPSS Mark II had a collection efficiency of up to 84% when sampling airborne Escherichia coli at 10 L/min and for 10 min. The bacteria were accumulated in rolling water droplets as small as 20 microliters, and the sampler achieved sample concentration rates of up to 4.2 × 105/min. When the sampler was operated for a longer time period (60 min), its collection efficiency was 72%. The efficiency decrease was most likely due to a reduced particle removal from the electrode, but the difference was not statistically significant. Since the EPSS Mark II shows satisfactory collection efficiency and high sample concentration rate, it could serve as a basis for developing a field-deployable version of the sampler.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-219
Number of pages10
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pollution


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