We investigate filters composed of a layer of nanofibers on a substrate made of micrometer fibers and compare the performance of such nanofiber media to conventional micrometer fibrous filters. The performance of the nanofiber filters is evaluated using the figure of merit, which represents the ratio between the filtration efficiency and the pressure drop. Filtration tests were performed on four samples with different nanofiber solidities. As the nanofiber solidity increases, the filtration efficiency and the pressure drop both increase. We develop a numerical model to simulate the nanofiber filters. When the nanofiber solidity is appropriately adjusted, the pressure drop computed from the model is in good agreement with experimental results. Filtration efficiency for the nanofibers due to interception, inertial impaction and diffusion can be computed from the model. The simulation results are in good agreement with experiments for 20-780 nm particles but discrepancies exist for particles smaller than 20 nm. Our results show that nanofiber filters have better figure of merit for particles larger than about 100 nm compared to conventional fiberglass filters. For particles smaller than 100 nm, nanofiber filters do not perform better than conventional fiberglass filters.
- Figure of merit
- Nanofiber filters