Electrostatic Air Cleaner

By the one and only Nicholas Miguel De Sequeira

What on earth is it?

Many countries depend on coal energy. When coal is burned it releases fly ash. Fly ash is a flue gas and a by-product of burning coal. About 60% to 80% of the ash is released with the gases. To remove the ash, electrostatic air cleaners are used. Electrostatic air cleaners are also known as electrostatic precipitators. They are air filtration devices. They remove solid and liquid particles from gases. The particles will stay inside the device until they are manually removed from the device. It was invented by F. G. Cottrell. Many countries that depend on fossils fuels, may also depend on this device to decrease their air pollution.

How on earth does it work?

Electrostatic precipitators work when gas passes through an electrical field. When solid and liquid particles move through the electrical field they become charged. The particles then pass across a collection plate that is oppositely charged. The particles become attracted to the plate and stick to the plate until they are manually removed.
Electrostatic Precipitator System Working.avi

So, its a perfect device? Right?

Well no, it's not perfect. Electrostatic precipitators can produce ozone, which can cause asthma attacks. The plates need to be constantly cleaned and some particles cling tightly, making vigorous scrubbing needed.

Work citied

"Electrostatic Air Cleaners." Air Purifiers Canada. N.p.. Web. 19 Feb 2013.


George S. Mill, W. O. Milligan, "Electrostatic precipitator," in AccessScience, ©McGraw-Hill Education, 2012


"Electrostatic Precipitators." Keith E. Holbert . N.p., 15 Jan 2003. Web. 19 Feb 2013.