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Emission Particulate separation by Ionization Technique

S. Jeeva & Preethika Thomas

Department of Automobile Engineering, Anna University Tiruchirapalli Tiruchirapalli, Tamilnadu, India
gvascout@gmail.com cathyrose_thomson@yahoo.com

Abstract The particulate matter in the automobile

exhaust, which is hazardous, is of serious consideration. Separation of these particulate matter is discussed for which ionisation is used; using Corona Discharge for ionisation chamber; Design aspects; advantages of Corona Discharge; Deposition chamber; Design aspects; Electrical Connections. Some other auxiliary systems for efficient working of the ionization precipitator; solar power, Americium 124. Fig. 1 Exhaust with particulate matter from a chimney
Keywords Particulate matter, Corona Discharge, Helical


I. INTRODUCTION Ever since the invention of the self propelled vehicles powered by organic fuels the formation of the particulate matter remains a serious issue. These particulate matters have lot of hazardous effects like formation of deposits over the vegetation. Also when inhaled they are very injurious to health. Though the combustion of the present engines are controlled to reduce the particulate emissions. Controlling them is a big task. Hence this paper is aimed at implying the ionization technique for the separation of these particulate matters and thus contribute a little to the effort of making Eco-friendly Technology. II. PARTICULATES The exhaust of I.C engines, especially C.I engines, contains solid carbon soot particles that are generated in the fuel rich zones within the cylinder during combustion. These are seen as exhaust smoke and cause an considerable odorous pollution. Maximum density of particulate emission occurs when the engine is under load at WOT. At this condition maximum fuel is injected to supple maximum power, resulting in a rich mixture and poor fuel economy. This can be seen in the heavy exhaust smoke emitted when a truck or railway locomotive accelerates up a hill.

The particulate matters are cluster of solid carbon spheres. There spheres have a diameter from 9nm to 90nm. But the average size being in the range 15-30 nm. A single soot particle may contain up to 5000 carbon spheres.

III. CAUSES OF PARTICULATE MATTER IN EXHAUST Though particulate matter is present in almost all engine exhaust, the diesel engines are of more concern as they contribute more to the particulate emission. The main reason for particulate emission is incomplete combustion of rich mixture. During the combustion of the rich mixture, the incomplete combustion products (hydro carbons) contribute to the particulate in exhaust. Burning of the lubricant oil is a major contribution of particulates. They dont burn completely and hence becomes carbon particulates. The above 2 are the main reasons for particulate formation some other reasons are improper injection timing, reduced injection pressure.



Eye, nose, and throat irritation and respiratory symptoms (cough, phlegm, chest tightness, wheezing); Short-term inflammation of the airways;

Initiation of allergic responses, exacerbation of immunological reactions to other allergens and to groundlevel ozone, and stimulation of antibody production and other responses typically associated with asthma; Long-term decreased lung function and chronic inflammation of the lung. The World Health Organisation has estimated that these non-cancer effects are unlikely to occur below particulate matter exposure levels of between 2.3 g/m3 and 5.6 g/m3 Numerous international health agencies have also concluded that diesel exhaust is a probable or known carcinogen, with particulate matter accounting for diesel exhausts carcinogenicity. Various U.S. studies estimating the lifetime excess cancer risk caused by air pollution have concluded that particulate matter is responsible for 70% - 89% of the total cancer risk caused by air pollution in the U.S. It is estimated that exposure to particulate matter could develop cancer over their lifetimes. Certain groups have an even higher risk of developing cancer as they are exposed to higher than average ambient air concentrations of particulate matter:

The high cancer and non-cancer health risks to Canadians from exposure to particulate matter emphasise the urgency that must be placed on cleaning up diesel engines on the road today, implementing strict particulate matter emission standards for future diesel engines and fuel, and making the switch to cleaner and healthier fuels and transportation methods. .



In order to separate this particulate matter, deposition after ionization is used. Direct filtration of particulate matter is not possible since they have fine particle size.

Children riding on school buses are exposed to particulate matter levels that would lead to a lifetime excess cancer rate of up to one in 256 if they were exposed to this concentration of particulate matter over their entire lifetime. While this is an extreme example, it demonstrates the severity of the emissions that children are exposed to when travelling to and from school. This risk is above and beyond the cancer risk that everyday exposure to average ambient air particulate matter levels poses to children.

Fig. 1 Schematic layout of the precipitator

According to the research done by the Canadian Government:

People living near warehouse distribution centre operations and high volume freeways also face an elevated cancer risk: up to one in 1818 people living near warehouse distribution centre operations will develop cancer in their lifetimes, and up to one in 588 people living near high-volume freeways will develop cancer in their lifetimes, solely as a result of exposure to particulate matter from these sources. Certain occupational groups face an additional cancer risk due to their high exposure to particulate matter. Outdoor workers; truck, heavy equipment, and farm tractor drivers; mechanics; and miners all face an average 33%-47% increased risk of developing lung cancer due to their exposure to particulate matter at work.

Principle: It is based on the principle of deposition of colloidal particles. Since the particulate is a solid suspension in air phase if can be considered as colloids. The idea is simple. First the particulate matter is induced with a charge buy passing it through an ionization chamber. There charged particulates can be deposited by placing an oppositely charged electrode. Through the idea may appear simple, but the construction of such apparatus to operate under free flow conditions are challenging.

VI. HELICAL PORT The first part of the I.D is the helical port. This position is given in order to reduce velocity of the exhaust such that it takes more time to pass the ionisation chamber.

points. For easy maintenance the chamber is designed such the rings can be slided into the chamber through a groove provided this ensures easy accessibility to the wire mesh for maintenance.

Fig. 1 Helical Port with diffusion chamber At the end of the helical port the Area cross section of the duct is increased and hence the velocity drops even more such that the primary goal of reducing the velocity is achieved. Fig.3 Rings with wire mesh The rings are arranged such that the provision for grove is on opposite side every alternative ring to ensure free flow of the gas. Electrical connections to these rings are given through a metal plate in the groove and hence the body, into which the rings are placed, can be made act of insulation material 1-Ke ceramic. VIII. DEPOSITION CHAMBER This is the part of the I.D where the particulate matter is adhered. Construction of the deposition chamber is not as complex as the ionisation chamber. Design aspects: The main requirement of the deposition chamber is large surface area where the particulates can deposit. Hence the deposition chamber, unlike the ionisation chamber, consist of plate electrodes. Again here for the easy maintenance the body of the deposition is designed with precision for the plates to be inserted and removed.

VII. IONISATION CHAMBER This is a very important part of the I.D. where charge is adhered to the particulate matter. This process is achieved buy ionising the air inside chamber and on continuous flow of air due to ionisation charge is induced is the particulate. For the ionisation corona discharge is used.

Fig. 2 Body of the Ionisation Chamber

Corona discharge: A corona discharge is by definition, a gas discharge where the geometry confines the gas ionizing process to high-field ionization region around the active electrode. However all discharge forms have ionization regions and thus the really distinguishing feature of coronas is the existence of a low field ionization region commuting the ionization region with the eventual low field passive electrodes.

Design of ionisation chamber: The internal surface of the ionising chamber is finished roughly. Also a grid of spikes or wire mesh is provided inside the chamber and these spikes act as active discharge

Fig.4 Deposition chamber

The plates have to be removed and washed because of the deposition of soot on them. Torsional clips are provided for fight fit of the plates. A common metal strip running through all the groves will provide the electric supply. Electrical system: The main requirement of this apparatus to function is high voltage. Providing a high voltage is done by capacitive circuit as shown below. The HV pulse is connected to the ionisation chamber and hence the required voltage is provided to the system. The circuit shown below is of a pulsative corona discharger. It is proved that a Pulsating high voltage corona discharge is more efficient when there is a continuous flow of fluid and hence this is used in the water treatment.

generation system, solar can energy can be put into use. The solar panels placed above the vehicle can be used for charging up the battery. By this method the load on the engine is also reduced. Americium 241 is an radioactive isotope. At present it is used in smoke detectors. When Americium 241 decays it emits alpha particle which is capable of ionising the air. Hence this was also under consideration while choosing the type of ionising chamber. Though Americium have very less impact on humans, it is not negligible. Therefore usage of Americium needs proper leak proof shielding. Hence it is ruled out. X. ADVANTAGES OF CORONA DISCHARGE The formation of corona doesnt invite induction of spark on plasma, since a comparatively low voltage is used, it is safe. No need for an hazardous radiation since the ionization is carried by corona. There are no harmful radiations involved during the ionisation process as in case of Americium 241, which emits alpha rays. XI. CONCLUSION Though there are other mechanical filters for filtering particulate matter, they have a problem of clogging. Cleaning them is also a tedious process and also replacing the filter costs some. The main advantage of this precipitator is easy maintenance and cost effective operation. This is just a starting step and there is lot of room for development in this equipment.

Fig. 5 Circuit for providing high voltage

REFERENCES The Public Health impact of Diesel Particulate matter, Jacqueline Sharp, Sierra Club du Canada, May 2003. The corona discharge, its properties and specific uses, M. Goldman', A. Goldman' and R. S. Sigmond2, 1CNRS co1e Sup4rieure d'Electricit, GifsurYvette, France, 2The Norwegian Institute of Technology, Trondheim, Norway. Internal Combustion Engines, V. Ganesan, Tata Mc Graw Hill Publications. Corona discharges: fundamentals and diagnostics, E.M. van Veldhuizen, W.R. Rutgers, Faculty of Applied Physics, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Water Treatment by pulsed Streamer Corona Discharge, Petre LUKES, Institue of Chemical Technology, Prague. Human Health Fact Sheet on Americium, Argonne National Laboratory, August 2005.

PRACTICAL DIFFICULTIES TO BE OVERCOME Though this method may appear to be simple there are certain practical difficulties to be overcome. Some of them are listed below. IX. When the flow velocity is increased there may be a drop in the efficiency of the precipitator which is of serious concern. A helical port followed by a diffuser can help to overcome this disadvantage to a certain extent which is already explained above. High voltage is an important requirement for the corona discharge. Hence stepping up the available voltage from automobile alternator is a difficult task. The system may suffer from voltage drop which will affect its performance. Instead of relying on the vehicles electric power