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Factors influencing the airborne capture of respirable charged particles by surfactants in water sprays.

Tessum MW; Raynor PC; Keating-Klika L
J Occup Environ Hyg 2014 Sep; 11(9):571-582
This research measured the effects of particle diameter, surfactant-containing spray solution, and particle charge on the capture of respirable particles by surfactant-containing water spray droplets. Polystyrene latex particles with diameters of 0.6, 1.0, or 2.1 um were generated in a wind tunnel. Particles were given either a neutralized, unneutralized, net positive, or net negative charge, and then were captured as they passed through sprays containing anionic, cationic, or nonionic surfactant. The remaining particles were sampled, charge-separated, and counted with the sprays on and off at varying voltage levels to assess collection efficiency. Overall efficiencies were measured for particles with all charge levels, as well as efficiencies for particles with specific charge levels. The overall collection efficiency significantly increased with increasing particle diameter. Collection efficiencies of 21.5% +/- 9.0%, 58.8% +/- 12.5%, and 86.6% +/- 43.5% (Mean +/- SD) were observed for particles 0.6, 1.0, and 2.1 um in diameter, respectively. The combination of surfactant classification and concentration also significantly affected both overall spray collection efficiency and collection efficiency for particles with specific charge levels. Ionic surfactant-containing sprays had the best performance for charged particles with the opposite sign of charge but the worst performance for charged particles with the same sign of charge, while nonionic surfactant-containing spray efficiently removed particles carrying relatively few charges. Particle charge level impacted the spray collection efficiency. Highly charged particles were removed more efficiently than weakly charged particles.
Surfactants; Particulates; Analytical-processes; Respiration; Electrical-charge; Sprays; Respirable-dust; Exposure-levels; Fibrosis; Author Keywords: respirable dust; spray; electrical charges; surfactant; efficiency
Mei Tessum, University of Minnesota, Division of Environmental Health Sciences,MayoMail Code 807, 420 Delaware Street S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-009768; M072014
Issue of Publication
Source Name
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Performing Organization
University of Minnesota
Page last reviewed: December 3, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division