Collection and Generation of Sulfuric Acid Aerosols in a Wet Electrostatic Precipitator

C. Anderlohra, L. Brachert, J. Mertens & K. Schaber (Institut für Technische Thermodynamik und Kältetechnik, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany, Laborelec, Linkebeek, Belgium)

Source: Aerosol Science and Technology, 49:3, 144-151

Abstract: Wet electrostatic precipitators (WESPs) are considered to be a possible technology for the control of sulfuric acid mist. The performance of a lab-scale WESP was investigated as a precipitator for sulfuric acid aerosol droplets produced under controlled conditions in a pilot plant. It was found that for higher levels of residual SO2 in the flue gas, WESP collection efficiencies were greatly reduced due to aerosol formation inside the WESP. Investigations showed a strong correlation of aerosol emission from the WESP with incoming SO2 concentration and operating voltage. It is suspected that the reactive species produced in the nonthermal plasma of the corona discharge oxidize the SO2 to SO3 which forms sulfuric acid. This causes supersaturation with subsequent homogeneous nucleation and thus aerosol formation.

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