P1.2 Comparison of experimental and numerical studies of the performance characteristics of a Pumped Counterflow Virtual Impactor

Monday, 28 June 2010
Exhibit Hall (DoubleTree by Hilton Portland)
Gourihar Kulkarni, PNNL, Richland, WA; and M. Pekour, D. Murphy, K. Pratt, and D. J. Cziczo

Experiments and Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) simulations were performed to evaluate the performance characteristics of a Pumped Counterflow Virtual Impactor (PCVI). Tests were conducted for various flow configurations for which the diameter at which 50% of the particles were transmitted was determined. Experimentally determined 50% cutpoints varied from 2.2 to 4.8 micrometers and CFD predicted diameters agreed within ± 0.4 micrometers. Both experimental and CFD results showed similar transmission efficiency (TE) curves. CFD TE was always greater than experimental results, most likely due to impaction losses in fittings not included in the simulations. Ideal transmission, corresponding to 100% TE, was never realized in either case due to impaction losses and small scale flow features such as eddies. Areas where CFD simulations showed such flow recirculation zones were also found to be the locations where particulate residue was deposited during experiments. CFD parametric tests showed that PCVI performance can be affected by the nozzle geometry and misalignment between the nozzle and collector orifice. We conclude that CFD can be used with confidence for counterflow virtual impactor (CVI) design. Modifications to improve the performance characteristics of the PCVI are suggested.
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