Removal of airborne sub-3 nm particles using fibrous filters and granular activated carbons

Changhyuk Kim, Seungkoo Kang, David Y H Pui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The filtration efficiencies of fibrous filters and a granular activated carbon (GAC) for sub-3 nm particles were investigated, which were not previously well-studied. The sub-3 nm particles were classified by a high resolution differential mobility analyzer and measured by an aerosol electrometer. The penetration of sub-3 nm particles through the GAC was well-matched with the previous results using 3-30 nm particles. All tested fibrous filters showed 100% filtration efficiency for the sub-3 nm particles and were still sufficiently powerful to eliminate nanoparticles in the air down to 1.5 nm. Although the GAC showed lower filtration efficiency than the fibrous filters, GACs can be used to reduce the concentration of both gas molecules and nanoparticles simultaneously with a low pressure drop. The single sphere efficiency of the GAC for the sub-3 nm particles was a power-law of the Peclet number, and the exponent was -0.35. The exponent was higher than that for 3-30 nm particles, -0.5. Moreover, the exponent for 1.5-30 nm particles was -0.43, which was the same as that of the single fiber efficiency observed by others. This requires a new particle filtration model of porous filter media such as GACs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-132
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The University of Minnesota thanks the support of members of the Center for Filtration Research (grant number: 3000 11137 05306727 ): 3M Corporation , A.O. Smith Water Products Company , BASF Corporation , Boeing Company , China Yancheng Environmental Protection Science and Technology City , Cummins Filtration Inc. , Donaldson Company Inc. , Entegris Inc. , Ford Motor Company , Guangxi Wat Yuan Filtration System Co., Ltd. , H.B. Fuller Company , Mann+Hummel GmbH , MSP Corporation , Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd , Shigematsu Works Co., Ltd. , TSI Inc. , and W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. , Xinxiang Shengda Filtration Technology Co., Ltd. In addition, the authors appreciate to Dr. Peter H. McMurry for his insightful comments and help to use the HRDMA.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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