Fine particle capture by Wet Electrostic scrubbing technique

The main R&D issue on which VTS operates, in cooperation with the Department of Chemical, Materials and Production Engineering of the University of Naples Federico II, is the capture of fine and ultrafine particulates through the use of Wet Electrostatic Scrubbing techniques.

This technique is basically a modification of a conventional scrubber in which, however, the liquid phase (the spray) and the particulates carried by the gaseous stream are electrostatically charged with opposite polarity, in order to increase the capture of fine particulate by the electrically charged drops.
As a result, an "electrified" scrubber is capable of capturing ultrafine particulates (≥ 0.05µm) with a numerical abatement efficiency greater than 90%, while a conventional scrubber is effective on capturing particulate only for diameters of about 1-2µm.
The sizing of this process and the basic loading techniques have been developed since 2011 with the participation of VTS in the European project co-financed by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) . The project title is DEECON ( As part of this project the research group, consisting of three universities and five European companies including VTS, laid the foundations for the knowledge necessary for the sizing of electrified scrubbing processes and verified their performance and potential. The DEECON project ended in August 2014 and saw total investments of around € 3.500.000,00.
Further research activities were conducted as part of a national R&D project, together with the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Naples Federico II. The project, called RAIN, involved the research team between 2015 and 2016 with a total investment of around € 800.000,00.
The aim of the project was the sizing of wet electrostatic scrubbing processes on a pre-industrial scale, the engineering of electrostatic spray and flue gas charging systems, the construction of a prototype on a semi-industrial scale, the experimental test conducting with gas model designed to simulate gaseous emissions from marine engines comparable to about 1.5-2 MW.
The numerous experimental activities have allowed us to identify the critical points of the process and to improve specific designs, mainly for the electrostatic charging systems that constitute the heart of the process.
Today, thanks to continuous self-financed investments, VTS is able to produce self-cleaning electrostatic charging systems for sprays and flue gas capable of operating at high temperatures, the technology for capturing fine particulates for prototype applications to be tested on board ships.
Please refer to the list of publications in international journals in which VTS personnel are involved relating to the topic of Wet Electrostatic Scrubbing, indicated below.

Note: starting from 2016, the VTS policy regarding the publication of sensitive data has changed due to the will to patent the system.


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