SEPARATION OF FINE LIQUID DROPLETS FROM HIGH SPEED AIR UTILIZING THE ELECTROHYDRODYNAMICS TECHNIQUE
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With constant process intensification in recent years, the separation of fine micron and submicron size liquid droplets from gaseous flow mediums has become an important subject for the process and aerospace industries. While conventional technologies are not effective in this droplet size range, electrostatic separation demonstrated remarkable effectiveness and reliability while lowering maintenance and operation cost. However, it is commonly used for low droplet concentration in relatively low velocity gas flow. This current experimental study is focused on electrostatic separation of high concentration of fine electrically conductive droplets from high velocity gas flow. Different separators including wire-to-plate, wire-to-cylinder, single stage, and multi-stage separators were designed, built and tested at gas velocities up to 15 m/sec and droplet concentration up to 22,000 ppm. The results demonstrated that two-stage plate, as well as tubular separators provides maximum separation efficiency at minimum power consumption. However, the tubular separator is easier to package in the required space envelope and 1-inch diameter tubes are more efficient at high velocity and droplet concentrations.