1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Electrostatic Precipitator

  1. Jan 10, 2014 #1
    Hello every one. Hope you are doing amazing. I am new to the forum and I hope I am putting the post under appropriate thread. Please feel free to guide me through rules if I do mistakes.
    I will honor every ones reply over my little project.

    I am making a small glove box which is inclined towards doing hard disk head and platter transplants.
    My father is into data recovery business and often has a requirement of hard disk head transplants.
    We lack a clean portable room in our office and as a B.Sc First Year student, I decided to take a step and device a portable clean environment glove box in which the disk can be kept and transplants can be performed under low particle environment.

    The air inside the glove box will be removed with a pump and fed into a chain of filters. I will be experimenting with various kinds of filters ranging from automobile (bike) filters and will also do DIY searches on HEPA filter. I have a bug in my mind to incorporate a electrostatic precipitation somewhere in the chain. The air will be passed through these filters and will be re-fed into the box so that the internal pressure is maintained to what ever it was.

    Here is something that I did and a few observations.
    I brought a mosquito killing bat which is having a small battery source and a step up circuit which increases the voltage to around 2-3kV. Some forum/website said even close to 8kV.
    My multimeter reads around 2kV when the battery inside is partially charged.

    I rip opened the racket and connected two copper plates that are used to make pcbs using wires attached to the plats and the terminals on the racket.

    I keep the circuit on and try to bring the plates together. When the plates are held around 1cm apart, i hear sizzle sound from them. Is air being ionzed... The air surely gets ionized when the plates are kept as close as 2-3mm since there is di electric breakdown seen (sparks).

    The question is? is the air being ionized?
    To my little knowledge E=V/D (electric field) .....F=((Q.q)/(d^2)) * 9x10^9...so when d tends to zero E increases and F also increases (since E also = F/C)...so more force between the plates could cause the gas to ionize?

    Kindly shower wisdom.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Yes, if there is breakdown between the electrodes then ionisation is occurring. There will also be a characteristic smell of ozone when ionisation occurs.

    With today's drives you will be hard pressed to get a sufficiently clean environment. I would make a chamber big enough to work on the drive and store all the tools. It would have long-armed gloves and a window. It would be maintained at a slight positive pressure by dry nitrogen passed in through a filter system.

    Access would be through a double air lock. The first chamber would be a closed cleaning area using a dry nitrogen gas jet that would be operated close to atmospheric pressure. The drive would then be passed to an intermediate chamber that could then be evacuated prior to being filled with dry nitrogen. The drive is then passed into the inner clean chamber to be worked on.

    All tools and parts would be passed through the cleaning process before being stored in the main chamber.

    The drive should never be operated in the clean chamber as any failure would necessitate a full cleaning procedure. Opening the drive prior to placing it in the airlock would also prevent contamination of the clean room.
  4. Jan 12, 2014 #3
    Hello Baluncore,
    Thank you for your kind reply. So one can reach bond dissociation enthalpy even at lower potential difference..I was somewhere ESPs require as high has 100kV.. Only the thing is the distance between the plates should be less?
    Is my approach correct? I have no measures to prove the ions are formed also no smell particularly is noticed.

    I will keep everything in mind that you have mentioned. I appreciate your efforts. The project is too personal and domestic and hence fails to have support of big budget.

    Every ones inputs are important and hence I wish that every one can participate in sharing knowledge on this subject.

    Personal Thanks!

  5. Jan 18, 2014 #4
  6. Jan 18, 2014 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Sorry, there is no video capacity on my network interface.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook