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Electrostatic Precipitator Design

  1. May 14, 2014 #1
    I currently live in Mongolia, and during the winter months (6 months of the year) we heat our "Gers" see below picture, using coal. These are burned in stoves, and then the smoke is funnelled through a 11cm tube (chimney) through the roof.

    However this is very smoky and nasty, and bad for my family's health. I really wanted to find a way to cure this problem, so we could minimise the amount of smoke my children and family are surrounded by when they leave the house. I did some research and came across a process they use in coal fired power stations called an "Electrostatic Precipitator".

    Upon initial investigation (A little google research) i found this website http://hackaday.com/2014/03/13/cleaning-up-smoke-with-an-electrostatic-precipitator/

    It looks perfectly scalable based on this, but i am not familiar with electronics and so i am worried about attempting to build something like this and then blowing myself up with a big electric shock. Do you have to induce a current to get the two different charged ions, or are there any different things you could use? Like sacrificial anodes, or galvanised materials etc? So you are making it wholly passive, rather than using electrics?

    If you have to use electric source, could someone please give me advice how i can make this totally safe, and also what sort of voltages. The guy in the video is using a huge voltage, but going by other comments, a voltage of over 5Kv is ok. Is there anyway of building my own voltage system i could plug in from the mains and attach to the electrostatic precipitator.

    I really am at a loose end how to start somethign like this. So any tips are greatly provided. The chimney is 11cm in diameter, and i guess it can be anything up to 20cm in length before it would start getting too flimsy. This only needs to work to clean up the emissions of gas.

    Please see the pictures below and let me know what you think! PS I am posting this on multiple parts of this website as i am not too sure where this should go. Sorry if this annoys anyone!

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2014 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Welcome to PF.

    To reduce the local pollution you might use a taller chimney. A catalytic converter or post-combustion chamber with excess air introduced through a venturi might also be possible.

    The grade of coal used will also make a difference. Does it have high sulphur content?

    An electrostatic precipitator needs a high DC voltage, but very little current. The technology used in photocopiers and laser printers use these voltages to drive the corona wires. They have a current limiter which makes them safer than other high voltage supplies. You might recycle a corona module from the e-waste stream.

    Where will you get the 10 watts of electrical power needed to drive the HV DC supply?
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