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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/H049428/1
Title: Impulsive Micro-electrostatic Precipitation Systems
Principal Investigator: Timoshkin, Dr I
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 25 October 2010 Ends: 24 October 2011 Value (£): 95,293
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Building Ops & Management Instrumentation Eng. & Dev.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
19 May 2010 Materials, Mechanical and Medical Engineering Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
It is known that exposure to fine airborne particles with micron and submicron dimensions may present significant risks to human health. These particles emitted by industrial sources such as power plants, diesel engines, cement kilns, food processing factories and by various domestic sources can penetrate deep into the human respiratory system and their effect on humans is not fully understood. Particles with sizes less than two-and half micrometers (PM2.5) are of particular concern, for example in 2009 the UK Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants reported that these particles are more closely related to effects of mortality than larger particle fractions. This fine particulate matter can remain airborne for long periods of time, which significantly increases the probability of their inhalation and the health risk they pose. As in industrialized countries people spend the majority of their time indoors, it is important to minimise air pollutant levels in such closed environments. The present proposal is focused on the development of an impulsive micro-electrostatic precipitation (IMP) technology for the removal of fine particles from air. This technology is based on the use of nanosecond impulse corona discharges and a background DC voltage for effective electrical charging and transportation of airborne PM2.5 particles. High voltage impulses will allow application of significantly higher voltages (which could be as high as several tens of thousands of volts) to the active, corona electrodes in order to generate ions through ionization and dissociation of the ambient gas. It is expected that higher ionic concentrations produced by impulsive energisation will provide more efficient electric charging of the PM2.5 particles and will result in improved removal efficiency. Also, the use of sub-microsecond high voltage impulses will help to avoid catastrophic spark breakdown (which is similar to miniature lighting) in the IMP electrode system, these sparks lead to the collapse of the electric field and result in reduction of the production of ions. Conventional electrostatic precipitation systems have a pronounced minimum in their efficiency for particles with dimensions between a few hundred nanometers and a few micrometers, and it is anticipated that IMP technology will provide improved removal efficiency of airborne particles with these sizes. It is planned that the compact IMP air cleaning systems can be used in hospitals, schools, offices and homes.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.strath.ac.uk