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The design of electrostatic precipitators by use of physical models

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This paper describes how physical models can be successfully employed in the design of Electrostatic Precipitators (ESP). The development of the computational power of personal computers has made possible the development of mathematical models of complex systems, like ESP, that can be used at relatively low cost. These mathematical models simulate the non linear coupling of the different physical processes inside the ESP: turbulent gas flow, electrical field and discharge phenomena, particle charging and transport, particle collection and re-entrainment. With the physical models it is possible to avoid empirical correlations, and to optimize
the ESP characteristics on the basis of physical and geometrical parameters, taking into account the balance between costs and performances. In this paper the model characteristics and results will be presented, together with the procedure used in the design of an electrostatic precipitator, to treat the flue gas from an industrial plant. The most critical design characteristics of the precipitator will be discussed.

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