Particulate Air-Filtration Characteristics of Microfibrous Materials

Wednesday, November 10, 2010: 9:20 AM
253 A Room (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Amogh N. Karwa, Center for Microfibrous Materials Manufacturing, Department of Chemical Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL and Bruce J. Tatarchuk, Center for Microfibrous Materials, Department of Chemical Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL

A new family of composites known as microfibrous materials (MFMs) was invented at the Center for Microfibrous Materials Manufacturing in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Auburn University. These composites are composed of a three dimensional network of sinter-locked micron size fibers and high surface area fibers/particles. Surface area, porosity, void volume and conductivity of MFMs can be tailored to widely varying requirements. These materials have shown applicability in double layer capacitors, battery electrodes, heterogeneous catalysis and adsorption. The diameter of fibers varies from 1Ám to 20Ám and the fiber material could be metal, polymer, glass or a combination. Cellulose is used as a binder for formation of metal MFMs by wet-lay process. In the final step of formation of MFMs the metal fibers are sintered and the cellulose is oxidized. These MFMs can serve the dual purpose of molecular contaminant removal using catalysts / adsorbents while acting as particulate air-filters. The effect of varying fiber diameter, cellulose content, voidage of MFMs, diameter and quantity of particles on particulate air-filtration performance and pressure drop across MFMs will be presented. Pore size distribution using capillary porometry and SEM imaging has helped to better understand the structures of MFMs for particulate removal. This study has helped to optimize the pressure drop of full scale MFM filters.

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