Ozone generation by indoor, electrostatic air cleaners

Kimberly J. Boelter, Jane H Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


This experimental study extends prior studies to consider the influences of discharge polarity, current, relative humidity, air temperature, and wire diameter and material on ozone generation rate in two-stage, wire-plate indoor air cleaners. Promising methods of decreasing the quantity of ozone released into living and work spaces are identified. Use of positive corona discharge is imperative since ozone generation rates are nearly an order of magnitude higher with negative discharge. For a specific precipitator design, the most important parameter in predicting ozone generation rate is current level. Changes in temperature and relative humidity of the inlet air stream over the range of ambient conditions expected in typical homes have less impact. In the commercial air cleaner studied, a 40% reduction in current from 1.08 to 0.60 mA, reduces ozone generation rate by nearly 50% from 0.005 to 0.0025 mg s−1. This reduction in current reduces particle collection efficiency by 20%. An increase in relative humidity from 17 to 55% decreases ozone generation rate 17%. An increase in air temperature from 293 to 301K decreases ozone generation rate by 6%. Ozone production can be controlled by the selection of wire diameter and material. At a fixed voltage, use of 0.10 mm rather than 0.20 mm tungsten discharge wires reduces ozone generation rate by 40%. The accompanying reduction in current does not cause a reduction in collection efficiency as long as the voltage in the collection stage is held constant. The benefit of controlling ozone generation rate by selection of wire material is that the electrical characteristics of the air cleaner are not affected. With a positive corona discharge, ozone generation rate is decreased by 30% with copper wires and by 50% with silver wires as compared to the rate with standard tungsten wires.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-708
Number of pages20
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


Dive into the research topics of 'Ozone generation by indoor, electrostatic air cleaners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this