22 Apr 2022
22 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Design and fabrication of an electrostatic precipitator for infrared spectroscopy

Nikunj Dudani and Satoshi Takahama Nikunj Dudani and Satoshi Takahama
  • ENAC/IIE, Laboratory for Atmospheric Processes and Their Impacts (LAPI), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

Abstract. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy is a direct measurement technique for chemical characterization of aerosols that can be applied without solvent extraction thermal treatment a priori. This technique has been used for chemical speciation, source apportionment, and detailed characterization of the complex organic fraction of atmospheric particles. Currently, most of the IR analysis is performed by transmission through porous membranes on which the particles are collected via filtration. The membrane materials interfere with the IR spectra through scattering and absorption that not only makes extracting the chemical information of aerosol harder but also limits the lower extent of detection. An alternative IR measurement method that does not inherit such limitations aerosol is to collect the particles on an IR transparent material. We present an electrostatic precipitator design that enables such measurements by collection on a Zinc Selenide (ZnSe) crystal. Through numerical simulations and rapid prototyping with 3D-printing, we design and fabricate a device which is tested with poly-dispersed ammonium sulfate particles to evaluate the quantitative chemical composition estimates against particle count reference. Furthermore, with an image analysis procedure and using variable aperture of the IR spectrometer, we analyze the radial mass distribution. The collector has high collection efficiency (82 % ± 8 %) and linear response to mass loading (R2 > 0.94) with a semi-uniform deposition. The method of design and fabrication is transferable to other applications and the current ESP collector can provide directions for further design improvements.

Nikunj Dudani and Satoshi Takahama

Status: open (until 28 May 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2022-109', Anonymous Referee #3, 11 May 2022 reply

Nikunj Dudani and Satoshi Takahama

Nikunj Dudani and Satoshi Takahama


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Short summary
We designed and fabricated an aerosol collector with high collection efficiency that enables quantitative infrared spectroscopy analysis. By collecting particles on optical windows, typical substrate interferences are eliminated. New methods for fabricating aerosol devices using 3D printing with post-treatment to reduce time and cost of prototyping is described.