Skip to main content


Log in

Study on performance of electrostatic precipitator under multi-physics coupling

  • Research Article
  • Published:
Environmental Science and Pollution Research Aims and scope Submit manuscript


A wire-plate electrostatic precipitator (ESP) is developed to analyze the particle transport characteristics and the influence of various factors on the performance of ESP. Above all, an experimental device is built to measure the current density distribution of the plates and obtain good consistency with the numerical simulation results, taking the ESP model established by COMSOL/Multiphysics as the numerical simulating object. Firstly, the electric field is solved by finite element method(FEM) to obtain the potential and charge density distribution. Then, the influence of secondary flow on the main flow at different flow velocities is explored. Finally, multi-physics coupling calculations show the influence of dust particle properties, electrode configuration, and operating conditions on ESP performance. The study found that the particle diameter is positively correlated with its charge, force, and motion, and the relative permittivity of the particles affects the collecting efficiency by affecting its charge difficulty. The wire-to-wire spacing is not proportional to collecting efficiency, when the spacing is 80 mm, the efficiency and the corona current can be maximized. Average electric field strength, corona current density, and current density distribution standard deviation satisfy the cubic function relationship. In addition, the effect of airflow velocity on collecting efficiency and particle precipitation is revealed. It provides a valuable basis for design and performance optimization of ESP.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Adamiak K (2013) Numerical models in simulating wire-plate electrostatic precipitators: a review. J Electrost 71(4):673–680

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Arif S, Branken DJ, Everson RC et al (2016) CFD modeling of particle charging and collection in electrostatic precipitators. J Electrost 84:10–22

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Butler AJ, Cendes ZJ, Hoburg JF (1989) Interfacing the finite-element method with the method of characteristics in self-consistent electrostatic field models. IEEE Trans Ind Appl 25(3):533–538

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cao LNY, Pui DYH (2018) A novel weighted sum method to measure particle geometric surface area in real-time. J Aerosol Sci 117:11–23

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • COMSOL Multiphysics 5.2(2016) Available from Accessed 10 June 2016

  • Davis JL, Hoburg JF (1983) Wire-duct precipitator field and charge computation using finite element and characteristics methods. J Electrost 14(2):187–199

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dong M, Zhou F, Zhang Y et al (2018) Numerical study on fine-particle charging and transport behavior in electrostatic precipitators. Powder Technol 330:210–218

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Enomoto M, Tierney WJ, Nozaki K (2008) Risk of human health by particulate matter as a source of air pollution--comparison with tobacco smoking. J Toxicol Sci 33(3):251–267

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Farnoosh N, Adamiak K, Castle GSP (2010) 3-D numerical analysis of EHD turbulent flow and mono-disperse charged particle transport and collection in a wire-plate ESP. J Electrost 68(6):513–522

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Guo BY, Yang SY, Xing M (2013) Toward the development of an integrated multiscale model for electrostatic precipitation. Ind Eng Chem Res 52(33):11282–11293

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • He Z, Dass ETM (2018) Correlation of design parameters with performance for electrostatic precipitator. Part I. 3D model development and validation. Appl Math Model 57:633–655

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Heng S, Wanxuan Y, Hongwei J (2018) Electrohydrodynamic flows in electrostatic precipitator of five shaped collecting electrodes. J Electrost 95:61–70

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kasdi A (2016) Computation and measurement of corona current density and V–I characteristics in wires-to-plates electrostatic precipitator. J Electrost 81:1–8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lawless PA (1996) Particle charging bounds, symmetry relations, and an analytic charging rate model for the continuum regime. J Aerosol Sci 27(2):191–215

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Li M, Christofides PD (2006) Collection efficiency of nanosize particles in a two-stage electrostatic precipitator. Ind Eng Chem Res 45(25):8484–8491

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Long Z, Yao Q (2010) Evaluation of various particle charging models for simulating particle dynamics in electrostatic precipitators. J Aerosol Sci 41(7):702–718

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Luo K, Li Y, Zheng C (2015) Numerical simulation of temperature effect on particles behavior via electrostatic precipitators. Appl Therm Eng 88:127–139

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Podlinski J, Niewulis A, Mizeraczyk J (2009) Electrohydrodynamic flow and particle collection efficiency of a spike-plate type electrostatic precipitator. J Electrost 67(2-3):99–104

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Qi LQ, Xu J, Yao Y et al (2018) Effects of coal blending in electrostatic precipitation efficiency—Inner Mongolia, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25:31421–31426

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Srivastava RK, Miller CA, Erickson C (2004) Emissions of sulfur trioxide from coal-fired power plants. J Air Waste Manage Assoc 54(6):750–762

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wang Y, Gao W, Zhang H et al (2019) Insights into the role of ionic wind in honeycomb electrostatic precipitators. J Aerosol Sci 133:83–95

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wettervik B, Johnson T, Jakobsson S et al (2015) A domain decomposition method for three species modeling of multi-electrode negative corona discharge—with applications to electrostatic precipitators. J Electrost 77:139–146

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • White H (1963) Industrial electrostatic precipitation. Addison-Wesley:128–135

  • White H (1977) Electrostatic precipitation of fly ash. J Air Pollut Control Assocn 27(1):8

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhang JP, Du YY, Dai YX (2011) Numerical simulation and analysis of dust trajectory of ESP. Environ Eng 29(2):78–81 (in Chinese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhengwei L, Zhuangbo F, Qiang Y (2012) Numerical simulation of electrostatic precipitator. J Chem Eng 63(11):3393–3401 (in Chinese)

    Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors would like to express their gratitude to Mr. Haibao Zhao and other engineers for experimental support. Useful discussions with Dr. Wenning Zhou and Mr. Chunxiao Zhou are also gratefully acknowledged.


This work was financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Plan of China (Grant No. 2017YFB0603202) and University of Science and Technology Beijing.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bing Chen.

Additional information

Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Chen, B., Li, H., He, Y. et al. Study on performance of electrostatic precipitator under multi-physics coupling. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 35023–35033 (2019).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: