Structural property effect of nanoparticle agglomerates on particle penetration through fibrous filter

Seong Chan Kim, Jing Wang, Mark S. Emery, Weon Gyu Shin, David Y Pui, George W. Mulholland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Most filtration studies have been conducted with spherical particles; however, many aerosol particles are agglomerates of small primary spheres. Filtration efficiency tests were conducted with silver NP agglomerates, with the agglomerate structure controlled by altering the temperature of a sintering furnace. The mobility diameter and mass of the silver NP agglomerates were measured using a differential mobility analyzer together with an aerosol particle mass analyzer. From these measurements, it was found that the fractal-like dimension, Dfm, varied from 2.07 to 2.95 as the sintering temperatures was increased from ambient to 600°C. The agglomerates were essentially fully coalesced at 600°C allowing direct comparison of the filtration behavior of the agglomerate to that of a sphere with the same mobility diameter. Other agglomerate properties measured include the primary diameter, the agglomerate length and aspect ratio, and the dynamic shape factor. Agglomerate filtration modeling with no adjustable parameters has been investigated in terms of diffusion, impaction, and interception. The model results agree qualitatively with the experimental results in the particle size range of 50 to 300 nm. The results indicated that the larger interception length of agglomerates is responsible for the smaller penetration through a fibrous filter in comparison to spherical particles with the same mobility diameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-355
Number of pages12
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 12 2009


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