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Research Project: Coordinated Precision Application Technologies for Sustainable Pest Management and Crop Protection

Location: Application Technology Research

Title: Modelling and optimisation of a wire-plate ESP for mitigation of poultry PM emission using COMSOL

item KNIGHT, REYNA - The Ohio State University
item ZHAO, LINGYING - The Ohio State University
item Zhu, Heping

Submitted to: Biosystems Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/2021
Publication Date: 11/1/2021
Citation: Knight, R.M., Zhao, L., Zhu, H. 2021. Modelling and optimisation of a wire-plate ESP for mitigation of poultry PM emission using COMSOL. Biosystems Engineering. 211:35-49.

Interpretive Summary: Particulate matter (PM), commonly referred to as dust, is a significant air pollutant in poultry housing facilities. Effective poultry PM control can greatly reduce its adverse effects on workers, livestock, vegetation and local biodiversity. In this research, a computational fluid dynamics computer program called COMSOL was used to develop simulation models of a poultry PM collection process with a wire-plate electrostatic precipitator (ESP). The PM collection process was simulated under various design parameters and typical environmental conditions. Distributions of voltage, electric field, space charge density, air velocity, and static pressure for particle collection efficiency and specific corona power density were determined. The developed models were validated with a prototype wire-plate ESP in a wind tunnel under hot, warm, and cold weather conditions. The wire-plate ESP design was optimized for high PM collection and low specific corona power. As a result, validated COMSOL models were established to optimize technical designs of ESPs for future physical prototype simulations and optimizations of poultry PM removal efficiencies.

Technical Abstract: Particulate matter (PM) emissions constitute a major air pollution concern for commercial poultry production facilities. Recently, the electrostatic precipitator (ESP) has emerged as a promising technology for mitigation of poultry PM. However, further optimisation of ESP design, operation scale, and operating parameters is necessary for improved PM removal efficiencies and practical applications in poultry facilities. In this study, a comprehensive model of the poultry PM collection process in a simulated ESP module was developed using COMSOL software. The model simulated airflow characteristics, electric field and space charge development, particle charging, and particle trajectory tracking of both PM10 and PM2.5. Wire-plate ESP configurations with varying design parameters, such as number of wire electrodes and plate separation distance, were simulated using the COMSOL model at an inlet air velocity of 2.0 m s-1 to identify the optimal configuration for development of ESP physical prototypes. The model was validated by laboratory testing of a prototype ESP within a wind tunnel under three sets of ventilation conditions representing hot, warm, and cold weather, respectively. The prototype ESP exhibited PM10 collection efficiencies of 90.8%, 97.1%, and 99.0% in hot, warm, and cold weather conditions, respectively. The observed PM2.5 collection efficiencies under these respective conditions were 86.9%, 94.4%, and 97.8%. This COMSOL model can be used as an inexpensive alternative to developing physical prototypes when evaluating ESP designs for PM mitigation in poultry facilities.