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Separation and Puri ﬁcation Technology
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/seppur
Modeling of ﬁ brous ﬁ lter media for ultra ﬁ ne particle ﬁ ltration
Seungkoo Kang ^{a} , Handol Lee ^{a} , Seong Chan Kim ^{a} , DaRen Chen ^{b} ^{,} ^{⁎} , David Y.H. Pui ^{a} ^{,} ^{⁎}
^{a} Particle Technology Laboratory, Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 111 Church St. S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA ^{b} Particle Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, 401 West Main Street, Richmond, VA 23284, USA
ARTICLE INFO
Keywords:
Collection eﬃ ciency Fibrous ﬁ lter media Polydisperse ﬁ bers Nanoparticle ﬁ ltration
ABSTRACT
Fibrous ﬁ lter media are widely applied to remove aerosol particles. The modeling and prediction of ﬁltration performance of ﬁbrous media is of importance to design ﬁlter media targeted for speciﬁ c applications. In this work, we successfully developed a 2D numerical modeling for ﬁbrous ﬁlter media. In our modeling, the ﬂow ﬁ eld and fates of particles were calculated in model ﬁlter media having the ﬁ ber size distribution, average solidity, and thickness the same as those of real media. An excellent agreement was obtained between the numerical and experimental particle collection e ﬃciencies of two commercially available ﬁ brous ﬁ lter media for particles in the sizes ranging from 3 to 500 nm. We also investigated the e ﬀect of ﬁber size polydispersity (both in the unimodal and bimodal ﬁber size distributions) on the particle collection eﬃ ciency of ﬁbrous media. It was found that the particle capture in ﬁ brous media is noticeably in ﬂ uenced by the polydispersity of ﬁ bers in a unimodal distribution, especially for particles in the sizes ranging from 10 to 100 nm, and further e ﬀected by the peak size and volume fraction in each mode of a bimodal ﬁ ber size distribution.
1. Introduction
The removal of ambient ﬁne PM _{2}_{.}_{5} (de ﬁned as the particulate matter with the size less than 2.5 μ m) and ultra ﬁ ne PM (de ﬁned as the particulate matter with the size less than 100 nm) is of great interest for residents in the close proximity to highways and in highly polluted cities. It is because ﬁ ne and ultra ﬁne PM could have adverse e ﬀ ects on the public health, especially for children, elders and people with pul monary diseases [1 –3] . As reported by Berkeley Earth [1] , 4000 people in China die on the daily base because of air pollution. High reading of PM _{2}_{.}_{5} is one of major air pollution contributors. According to the work of Zhou et al. [2] , hourly peaks of PM _{2}_{.}_{5} concentration had exceeded 800 μg/m ^{3} in Beijing since 2013, which is ∼ 32 times higher than the 25 μg/m ^{3} level recommended by World Health Organization (WHO). Respirators are required to remove ﬁne and ultra ﬁ ne PM from breathing air. Fibrous ﬁlter media are widely used in respirators for its low cost and e ﬀ ective removal of PM. Researches have been performed to investigate the collection e ﬃciency of ﬁbrous ﬁlter media for parti cles in a wide size range [4– 10]. The classical single ﬁbere ﬃciency (SFE) theory has been widely applied to predict the particle collection e ﬃciency of ﬁ brous ﬁlter media [11,12] . The SFE theory estimates the overall particle collection e ﬃ ciency of ﬁbrous ﬁlter media by representing the media as an en semble of wellpatterned model cells in which a single ﬁ ber is located at
the centers of individual cells. The overall particle collection e ﬃciency, E , or particle penetration, P, of ﬁlter media can then be calculated as:
− 4 αE t
⎜
Σ
⎝
πd
f
(1
−
α
)
⎠
⎟
⎛
⎞
P =− =
(1)
where t is the media thickness, α is the medium solidity, d _{f} is the ﬁ ber diameter, and E _{∑} is the total SFE. The total SFE, considering all the particle capture mechanisms, i.e., by the di ﬀusion ( E _{D} ), interception ( E _{R} ), impaction ( E _{I} ) and gravitational setting ( E _{G} ), can be expressed as:
E =−−1 (1 E )(1−EE)(1− )(1−E )(1−E )
where E _{D}_{R} is the enhanced capture from the interception of di ﬀusing particles. Notice that the gravity e ﬀ ect on particle ﬁltration is negligible for submicrometersized particles. The empirical formulas of E _{R} , E _{I} and E _{D} were proposed in early studies [11– 14]. For the small particle ﬁ l tration via porous media, the particle Brownian di ﬀ usion is the pre dominant capture mechanism. Both interception and impaction play key roles in capturing particles with the sizes comparable to the ﬁlter ﬁ ber diameter. Typical formulas for the single ﬁ ber e ﬃciency due to the aforementioned particle capture mechanisms are given in Table 1 [12,15,16] . Among all the parameters in the SFE formulas, the ﬁber diameter, d _{f} , is one of the key factors greatly in ﬂuencing the overall particle collection e ﬃciency of ﬁ lter media. The SFE theory however assumes a
(2)
1
E
exp
Σ
R
I
D
DR
G
^{⁎} Corresponding authors. Email address: dchen3@vcu.edu (D.R. Chen).
Received 10 May 2018; Received in revised form 24 July 2018; Accepted 25 July 2018
Available online 26 July 2018 13835866/ © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
S. Kang et al.
Table 1 Empirical formula for single ﬁ ber e ﬃ ciency due to various particle capture mechanisms.
Separation and Purification Technology 209 (2019) 461–469
Capture mechanism 
SFE equation 
References 

Diﬀ usion 
E D = 2Pe 
− 2/3 
[12] 

E D = 1.6 
( 1 − α Ku 
) 
1/3 
Pe − 2/3 ; Pe = d _{f} U D 
; D 
kTC _{c} 
[16] 

= 
3 
πμd _{p} 

Interception 
E R = ( 
1 − α 
) R 
_{2} 
[12] 

Ku (1 + R 
) 

1 − α 
R 2 
d 
lnα 
3 
α 
2 
[16] 

^{I}^{m}^{p}^{a}^{c}^{t}^{i}^{o}^{n} 
E R = 0.6 E = ( 
( ) Stk J Ku ) 1 + R ; R ==− ; Ku p ^{d} f 2 − 4 + − α 4 ; Stk = 2 ρ _{p} d _{p} UC _{c} ; J =−(29.6 28α 0.62 2 )R −27.5R 
2.8 
[15] 

I 2 
Ku 2 
18 μd _{f} 
for R < 0.4 

Interceptiondi ﬀ usion 
_{E} DR _{=} 
1.24 R 2/3 
[12] 
( Ku pe
_{)} 1/2
uniform ﬁber diameter in media, which is not the case in real ﬁbrous ﬁ lter media. Equivalent diameters were proposed to determine the ﬁ ber size to be used in the SFE theory [4,6,17 –20] . For the mean diameter, either the arithmetic mean (i.e., average), geometric mean, or volume surface mean of a given ﬁ ber size distribution has been proposed as the equivalent ﬁber size [4,17 –19] :
d A (Arithmetic mean):
∑ ^{d}
f
n
d
G
(Geometric mean): dd ⋯d
(3)
(4)
2
f
∑ nd
∑
nd
f
d VS
(Volume surface diameter):
−
(5)
where, d _{f} is the real ﬁber diameter and n is the total number of ﬁ bers. The e ﬀ ective ﬁ ber diameter (i.e., pressureequivalent diameter) can be derived from the given pressure drop across ﬁlter media at a constant face velocity [21] :
=
d Eff
(6)
where, U is the face velocity, µ is the viscosity of gas, and Δ p is the pressure drop across ﬁ lter media. The e ﬀective ﬁ ber diameter de ﬁ ned by Davies [21] has been applied in previous studies [6,17,20] . Other de ﬁnitions of equivalent ﬁber diameters have also been proposed in the literatures. Four equivalent ﬁber sizes, described above, are often adopted in the studies of ﬁbrous ﬁlter media. The overall collection e ﬃ ciency as a function of particle size for a ﬁ brous ﬁlter medium are in fact di ﬀ erent when applying the SFE theory with aforementioned equivalent ﬁber diameters. As an example, Fig. 1
Fig. 1. Particle collection e ﬃ ciency for HF0012 at the face velocity of 5.3 cm/ sec.
462
Table 2 Speci ﬁ cations of H&V ﬁlter media.
Filter parameters 
HF0012 
HF0493 
Thickness (mm) Basis weight (gram/m ^{2} ) Solidity DOP % Penetration (0.3 μm at 5.3 cm/s) Pressure drop at 5.3 cm/s (Pa) 
0.74 
0.36 
6 9 
65 

0.039 
0.076 

79.9 
88 

13 
8 
gives various particle collection e ﬃciency curves calculated by Eq. (1)
with single ﬁber e ﬃciency formula given in Table 1 and di ﬀerent
equivalent ﬁber sizes for a ﬁberglass ﬁlter medium HF0012 (Hol
lingsworth & Vose, East Walpole, MA) . The speciﬁ cation of ﬁ lters used in this study are given in Table 2 . It is shown that the particle collection e ﬃciency curve of a ﬁlter media strongly depends on equivalent ﬁ ber diameters and one equivalent ﬁber diameter to calculate the particle collection e ﬃciency of ﬁ brous ﬁlter media in a wide particle size range might not be even feasible [18] . In addition, the particle collection e ﬃciency curve of a ﬁlter medium might be varied when di ﬀ erent ex pressions for the same capture mechanism are applied in the SFE theory. 2D and 3D numerical modeling has been utilized to investigate the ﬁ ltration performance of ﬁbrous ﬁlter media. Unfortunately, a majority of numerical studies modeled ﬁ lter media with uniform ﬁbers (either in patterned or random packing in media) and compared their results with those calculated by the SFE theory [22 –28] . The comparison of the particle collection e ﬃ ciency with the experimental data was merely made in three published studies [29– 31]. In the ﬁrst two studies [29,30] , the comparison was limited to the cases of two/three particle sizes, with only one size in the submicrometer range. Sambaer et al. [31] developed a ﬁ ltration model based on imagebased 3D structures of nano ﬁber media. The authors produced polyurethane nano ﬁ ber media by the electrospinning process, in which relatively monodisperse nano ﬁ bers in the diameter of 120 nm were manufactured. The ﬂ ow ﬁ eld was assumed in their modeling because of large void space and negligible nano ﬁber e ﬀ ect on the ﬂ ow ﬁeld in media. Also note that the particle ﬁ ltration by nano ﬁ ber media is dominated by the impaction and interception, not by the particle di ﬀ usion. Diﬀ erent from previous studies, we selected two commercially available ﬁlter media (i.e., HF0012 and HF0493 from Hollingsworth & Vose) to validate our modeling. In this study, a 2D numerical modeling with the consideration of polydisperse ﬁbers was developed to calculate the ﬂow ﬁeld and particle collection in selected media. The model va lidation was accomplished by comparing our numerical result with the measured particle collection e ﬃ ciency in a wide submicrometer size range (i.e., from 3 to 500 nm). Upon the model validation, the e ﬀ ects of ﬁ ber polydispersity in unimodal and bimodal ﬁ ber distributions on the particle collection e ﬃciency of ﬁlter media were investigated.
S. Kang et al.
2. Numerical modeling
2.1. Model for ﬁbrous ﬁ lter media
Selected ﬁbrous ﬁlter media, i.e., HF0012 and HF0493, were modeled in the 2D rectangular medium space with the width the same as the thickness of real ﬁlter media. The height of the medium space was determined by considering the total number of ﬁ bers to be placed and the void space of studied ﬁlter media. In general, more than 500 ﬁ bers were placed in the media space to assure that our numerical re sult are independent of the medium space size [23] . Fibers were added to the medium space according to the measured lognormal ﬁber size distributions and average solidity of studied media. Diameters of ﬁ bers were randomly generated in the measured ﬁber size distributions. The generated ﬁ bers were randomly placed in the medium space until the average media solidity was achieved. Note that the di ﬀerence on the ﬁ ltration e ﬃciency of a given ﬁlter media calculated using the domains based on the experimental and ﬁtted lognormal ﬁber size distributions was negligible. The choice of using the ﬁ tted lognormal ﬁ ber distribu tion in the code is for easy programming and control of distribution parameters. The algorithm to arrange ﬁbers in the predeﬁ ned media space is similar to that proposed by Hosseini and Tafreshi [23] . In the algo rithm, ﬁ bers were consecutively generated and randomly placed in the medium space while avoiding the ﬁber overlapping. To have high quality meshes for the ﬂ ow ﬁeld calculation, a minimal distance of 0.1 µm between adjacent ﬁbers was kept when placing ﬁbers in the medium space. When a ﬁ ber crossing either the top or bottom boundary of medium space, the outsidespace portion of the ﬁ ber was then placed on the opposite boundary of medium space because of the periodic boundary conditions assumed at the top and bottom boundaries of medium space. Note that the 0.1 µm gap is several tenths of average ﬁ ber diameters of studied media. The total number of grids was in the range of 1,000,000 –1,500,000 = and the range of grid size was 3 × 10 ^{−} ^{8} –1 × 10 ^{−} ^{6} , depending on the ﬁber distribution in ﬁlter do mains and the ﬁlter types. Generally, the size of grids was ﬁne in the region near ﬁbers and coarse in the region away from ﬁ bers. ”
2.2. Calculation of ﬂow ﬁeld
A typical computational domain used in this modeling and boundary conditions is shown in Fig. 2 . The computational domain typically extends 150 μm upstream and 30 μm downstream the medium space. The ﬂ ow was assumed to move from the left entrance to the right exit. A uniform velocity pro ﬁle (either 10 or 15 cm/s) and pressure were assumed at the ﬂ ow entrance and exit of the computational do main, respectively. The periodic boundary conditions were applied at the top and bottom boundaries of the domain. Nonslip condition was applied to all the ﬁber surfaces.
Separation and Purification Technology 209 (2019) 461–469
Since the ﬂow Reynolds number based on the ﬁ ber diameter is far less than 1.0 (Re ≪ 1), the Stokes ﬂow was assumed in the computa tional domain and solved in ANSYS Fluent with the 2D governing equations of continuity and momentum:
(7)
∇·u=0
∇−∇pμ u=0
(8)
Note that the special attention had been paid to the grid distribution in the neighborhood of ﬁber surface for the accurate calculation of ﬂ ow ﬁ eld and particle capture near a ﬁber. Hosseini and Tafreshi [23] found that the pressure drop over a ﬁber is not aﬀ ected when more than 50 grid points are used in the ﬁber perimeter. In our modeling, the number of grid points on a ﬁ ber perimeter was linearly increased with the ﬁ ber diameter because ﬁ bers in a wide size range were distributed in the medium space. The fraction of ﬁbers having grids less than 50 on a ﬁ ber perimeter were approximately 5 –8% in our study, and the calculation result was not aﬀ ected by the small fraction of ﬁ bers.
2
2.3. Particle tracking
An inhouse JAVA code was developed for the particle trajectory calculation. The Langevin equation with the consideration of di ﬀ usive random motion of particles was employed to calculate the particle Brownian motion in the computational domain [32] :
f
;
m
mv =−mβ v−U + X
_{(}_{9}_{)}
where m, β, and v are the mass, frictional constant, and velocity of a particle, respectively. U is the ﬂ ow velocity at the particle position. X is a random force. The property of random force is depicted by a Gaussian distribution function with the mean and mean square as:
̇
(
)
;
β =
f: frictional factor
'
'
<X (t) >= 0, < X (t)·X (t ) ≥ 6mβkTδ (t−t )
(10)
where k represents the Boltzmann constant and T is the absolute tem perature. The method of Ermak and Buckholz [32] was applied to de scribe the Brownian motion of particles. In this method, following the work of Chandrasekhar [33] and Tien and Ramarao [34] , a bivariate probability distribution was used together with its moments to de ﬁ ne uniquely position and velocity at every time step t. The Cunningham slip correction factor Cc needs to be accounted for the submicron par ticle as the particle size is close to the mean free path, λ , of gas mo
)) , where Kn is the
lecules [35] ,
Knudsen number (Kn = 2 λ /particle diameter). To calculate the particle collection e ﬃciency in model ﬁ lter media as a function of particle size, particles with a speciﬁ c size (i.e., 3, 5, 10, 20, 30, 50, 100, 200, 300, 500 nm) were introduced at the entrance of the computational domain. A total of 1500 particles was introduced for each running case. The locations to introduce particles at the domain entrance were assigned by uniformly dividing the height of the ﬂ ow
C
c
=+
1
(
Kn 1.257
+
0.4exp
−
Kn
(
1.1
Fig. 2. A typical example of the computational domain for model HF0012 media.
463
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Separation and Purification Technology 209 (2019) 461–469
Fig. 3. Experimental setup for the measurement of particle collection e ﬃ ciency of studied ﬁ lter media.
entrance by the total number of particles to be introduced. The move ment of individual particles was tracked to ﬁnd out their fate, i.e., whether they are captured by ﬁbers or they penetrate through the ﬁlter media. The ﬁ ltration e ﬃciency of the media was obtained from the counts of their fates. The above calculation was repeated at least ten times for each case. The average of ten calculated collection e ﬃciencies was used in the comparison with the experimental eﬃ ciency.
3. Experimental setup and method
3.1. Experimental setup for the particle collection e ﬃ ciency measurement
Fig. 3 shows the schematic diagram of an experimental setup for the measurement of particle collection e ﬃciency of studied ﬁlter media. The setup consists of a Collison atomizer (TSI 3079, Shoreview, MN) for the generation of submicrometersized particles, a di ﬀ erential mobility classi ﬁer (DMC, TSI 3081, Shoreview, MN) for the particle size classi ﬁ cation, and an ultra ﬁne condensation particle counter (UCPC, TSI 3776, Shoreview, MN) to measure the upstream and downstream con centrations of test ﬁlter media. KCL solutions of two di ﬀerent con centrations (i.e., 0.01% and 1% by volume) were used in the atomizer to generate particles in the sizes ranging from 20 nm to 500 nm. 0.01% and 1% KCL solutions were used for test particles in 20 –50 nm and 100 –500 nm, respectively. The solvent in atomizerproduced droplets were dried in the di ﬀusion drier with silica gels as the desiccant. Electrical charges on dried particles was conditioned to a Boltzmann charge distribution in the Po210 charger. A TSI DMC (TSI 3081) classi ﬁed KCl particles in the mobility sizes of 20, 30, 50, 100, 200, 300, and 500 nm. A 2nd Po210 charger was utilized to minimize electrical charges on DMCclassi ﬁed particles. The penetration of particles at each tested size was calculated as the ratio of the concentrations in the downstream and upstream of test ﬁlter media:
E ( d )
x
_{=} C
down
( d )
x
C
up
( d )
x
(11)
where, C _{u}_{p} (d _{x} ) is the particle concentration at the upstream of ﬁlter media, C _{d}_{o}_{w}_{n} (d _{x} ) is the downstream particle concentration, and E (d _{x} ) is the penetration e ﬃciency for a test particle size. The test face velocity was selected either at 10 or 15 cm/s. For each particle size, the pene tration e ﬃciency of each ﬁlter media sample was measured at least 3 times and averaged. Three di ﬀerent medium samples were randomly selected and tested for each selected ﬁ lter media.
3.2. Characterization of studied ﬁ lter media
The speciﬁ cation of two ﬁbrous ﬁlter media are given in Table 2 . The media HF0012 is thicker in the thickness and lower in the solidity than the media HF0493. Although the DOP penetration of HF0012 is lower than that of HF0493 at the same face velocity, its ﬂ ow resistance is higher than that of HF0493. Fiber diameters of both HF0012 and HF0493 were characterized by the analysis of scanning electron microscope (SEM) images. Fig. 4 shows the SEM images of HF0012 and HF0493 at the magni ﬁ cation of ×2000 and ×500, respectively. A total of 10 or more images were taken for each ﬁlter media. Individual ﬁber diameters were measured from each image and the total number of measured ﬁ bers exceeded more than 300. As shown in Fig. 5 , the ﬁ ber size distribution measured from SEM images for a studied media could be ﬁtted by a lognormal distribution [4,18] . The mean equivalent ﬁ ber diameters were calcu lated using the measured ﬁber size distributions for each ﬁlter media. Table 3 gives three mean equivalent ﬁber diameters obtained from SEM images and one pressureequivalent ﬁber diameter calculated by Eq. (6) . Equivalent ﬁ ber diameters of HF0012 are in general less than those of HF0493.
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Separation and Purification Technology 209 (2019) 461–469
Fig. 4. Typical SEM images of studied H&V ﬁ brous ﬁ lter media: (a) HF0012 and (b) HF0493.
Fig. 5. Cumulative ﬁ ber size distributions for studied ﬁ lter media (a) HF0012 and (b) HF0493.
Table 3 Equivalent ﬁber diameters of studied ﬁlter media (calculated based on the measured ﬁber size distribution and pressure drop).
Equivalent ﬁ ber diameter (μ m) 
HF0012 
HF0493 
Arithmetic mean Geometric mean Volumesurface average Eﬀ ective ﬁber diameter (Davies) 
3.3 
5.7 
2.5 
4.5 

5.1 
5.6 

5.3 
8.3 
4. Result and discussion
4.1. Typical ﬂ ow ﬁeld and particle trajectory in modeled ﬁlter media
Fig. 6 describes the streamlines in two computational domains (a) and (b) given in Table 4, respectively. One case (a) is with polydisperse ﬁ bers and the other (b) is with monodisperse size. As shown in Fig. 6 ,
Table 4 Parameters of hypothetical ﬁlter media with unimodal ﬁber size distributions.
Filter 
Thickness 
Solidity ( –) Arithmetic 
Coe ﬃcient of 
Number of ﬁ bers (– ) 

domain 
(mm) 
mean ﬁ ber diameter (μm) 
variation (–) 

no. 

1 
1 
0.1 
15 
0.47 
320 
2 
1 
0.1 
15 
0.27 
396 
3 
1 
0.1 
15 
0.07 
456 
the ﬂ ow ﬁ elds in ﬁ brous ﬁlter media are signi ﬁcantly aﬀ ected by the ﬁ ber polydispersity. Fig. 7 shows the trajectories of ten particles of 200 nm in size in the computational domain with modeled HF0012 media (at the face ve locity of 10 cm/s). Three particles were captured by ﬁ bers and seven particles penetrate through the media. Because of periodic boundary
Fig. 6. Examples of streamlines in the computational domains at the face velocity of 10 cm/s for two ﬁ lter domains, (a) Filter domain 1 and (b) Filter domain 3, given in Table 4.
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Fig. 7. An example of 200 nm particle trajectory in the computational domain of HF0012 media at the face velocity of 10 cm/s. 10 particle trajectories are shown.
condition, the particle crossing the top boundary was reentered the computational domain from the bottom boundary.
4.2. Eﬀ ect of modeled ﬁ lter media
Because of the random ﬁber size selection and placement in the medium space in each creation of model ﬁlter media, the actual ﬁ ber size distribution and total number of ﬁbers in the modeled ﬁlter media are varied although the solidity and measured size distribution of real ﬁ lter media are followed. For example, the number of ﬁbers in three HF0012 ﬁlter medium spaces, shown in Fig. 8 , are 782, 874, and 929 with the media solidity of 3.929%, 3.899%, and 3.900%, respectively. The numerical particle collection eﬃ ciencies of three model ﬁlter media HF0012 as a function of particle size and at the face velocity of 10 cm/sec are shown in Fig. 9 . It is found that the variation of particle
Separation and Purification Technology 209 (2019) 461–469
collection e ﬃciency calculated via three model HF0012 ﬁ lter media are negligible. In our numerical study, the di ﬀerence of maximal ﬁ ber numbers in all the cases was ∼7% resulting in the lessthan4% variation of cal culated particle collection e ﬃ ciency. To minimize the variation, 15 model media for each studied ﬁ lter media were generated. The model media with the minimal, mean, and maximal numbers of ﬁbers were selected for our calculation. The ﬁnal particle collection e ﬃ ciency for a given ﬁ lter media and particle size was the average of the e ﬃ ciencies
Fig. 8. HF0012 domains having the di ﬀerent number of ﬁbers and normalized cumulative ﬁ ber distributions corresponding to each domain.
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Separation and Purification Technology 209 (2019) 461–469
Fig. 10. Comparison of particle collection e ﬃ ciency, obtained from the experiment, numerical modeling, and SFE theory for (a) HF0012 at 10 cm/s; (b) HF0493 at 10 cm/s; (c) HF0012 at 15 cm/s; and (d) HF0493 at 15 cm/s. The eﬃ ciency data calculated by the SFE equations given in the works of Hinds [12] .
Fig. 11. Comparison of particle collection e ﬃ ciency of three hypothetical ﬁ brous ﬁlter media having various degree of polydispersity at the face velocity of (a) 10 cm/s and (b) 15 cm/s.
Table 5 Parameters of hypothetical ﬁ lter media with bimodal ﬁber size distributions.
Filter domain no. 
Thickness (mm) 
Solidity 
Arithmetic mean ﬁ ber diameter (μm) 
Volume fraction of ﬁ bers (%) 
Coe ﬃ cient of variation, CV 
Number of ﬁ bers 
1 
1 
0.15 
5, 20 
0.005, 0.145 
0.05, 0.05 
253, 461 
2 
1 
0.15 
5, 20 
0.005, 0.145 
0.3, 0.3 
235, 428 
3 
1 
0.15 
5, 20 
0.005, 0.145 
0.5, 0.5 
200, 370 
4 
1 
0.15 
5, 15 
0.005, 0.145 
0.3, 0.3 
240, 766 
5 
1 
0.15 
5, 30 
0.005, 0.145 
0.3, 0.3 
235, 195 
6 
1 
0.15 
5, 30 
0.015, 0.135 
0.3, 0.3 
710, 174 
obtained from three selected model media.
4.3. Comparison of numerical and experimental particle collection
e ﬃ ciency
Fig. 10 shows the comparison of collection e ﬃciency, obtained from
467
the experiment, numerical modeling, and Eq. (1), as a function of particle size at both face velocities of 10 and 15 cm/s for studied HF 0012 and HF0493 ﬁlter media. The empirical formula given in Hinds [12] were used in the SFE equations. In general, the particle collection e ﬃciency curves obtained from our numerical modeling in all the cases agree well with the experimental data for both studied ﬁ lter media. The
S. Kang et al.
Fig. 12. Comparison of particle collection e ﬃ ciency of four hypothetical ﬁ lter media with bimodal ﬁ ber size distributions at the face velocity of 10 cm/s.
maximal di ﬀ erence between the numerical and experimental data is less than 7%. For both studied ﬁlter media, the particle collection e ﬃciency cal culated from the SFE theory with the geometric mean diameter sig ni ﬁcantly deviates from the measured data. The SFE theory with the arithmetic mean diameter overestimates the collection e ﬃciency of HF 0012. On the other hand, it underestimates the collection e ﬃciency of HF0493 for particles with the sizes between 50 and 500 nm. The SFE theory with the volumesurface average diameter deviates from the experimental data for HF0012, but it is in good agreement with the experimental data in the case of HF0493. The SFE theory with the e ﬀ ective ﬁ ber diameter underestimates the collection e ﬃ ciency for both HF0012 and HF0493. The similar trend could also be observed when using the SFE theory with the empirical equations given in the work of Lee and Liu [16] .
4.4. Eﬀ ect of polydispersity
The e ﬀ ect of ﬁber polydispersity on the particle collection e ﬃciency for model ﬁlter media having the same ﬁ lter properties (i.e., ﬁlter thickness, solidity and arithmetic mean ﬁber size) but di ﬀerent ﬁ ber polydispersity was investigated in this part of study. Table 4 gives the parameters used for the creation of three model ﬁlter media (in Fig. 11 a). A model media with the higher coe ﬃ cient of variation (CV) indicates that ﬁ bers in the medium space has the higher degree of polydispersity. Because the size of model ﬁ lter media is ﬁ xed, the number of ﬁ bers decreased as the degree of ﬁber polydispersity in creased. Fig. 11 shows the collection e ﬃciency as a function of particle size at the face velocities of 10 and 15 cm/sec. The ﬁber polydispersity e ﬀ ect on the particle collection e ﬃ ciency is negligible for particles with the sizes smaller than 10 nm and larger than 100 nm. The high di ﬀ u sivity of particles with less than 10 nm in sizes results in the capture of particles regardless of media microstructure di ﬀ erence. For particles with the sizes larger than 100 nm, their sizes are close to the most pe netrating particle size (MPPS) for studied media, in which particles are not e ﬀ ectively captured by di ﬀ usion, interception or impaction [12,17] . The ﬁber numbers and polydispersity may not have signiﬁ cant e ﬀect on the particle penetration of ﬁ lter media in the size range near by the MPPS. The variation of particle collection e ﬃciency among three model ﬁ lter media is clearly observed for particles in the sizes between 10 and 100 nm. More speci ﬁcally, the diﬀ erence of 5 –14% in the particle col lection e ﬃ ciency were observed when comparing the cases with the model media 1 and 3 for particles in the sizes 10 – 100 nm. Thus, the e ﬀ ect of ﬁ ber polydispersity should be taken into the consideration in the modeling of ﬁltration performance of ﬁbrous ﬁ lter media.
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4.5. E ﬀect of bimodal ﬁber distributions
The particle collection e ﬃciency of ﬁbrous ﬁlter media with bi
modal ﬁber size distributions (i.e., ﬁ ne and coarse ﬁber modes) was
investigated in this part of study. Table 5 lists the parameters of six
hypothetical ﬁ lter media. All ﬁ lter media have the same thickness and
solidity. Fig. 12 shows the comparison of particle collection e ﬃ ciency
of six media as a function of particle size at the face velocity of 10 cm/
sec. The media 1 – 3 have the di ﬀ erent CVs of ﬁbers in both bimodal
modes. The media 1 has more ﬁ bers to capture particles although all the
three media have the same macroscopic ﬁlter properties. As observed in
Fig. 12 , the collection e ﬃ ciency of the media 1 is higher than those of
the media 2 and 3, i.e., the particle collection e ﬃciency of ﬁ lter media
is a ﬀected by the degrees of ﬁ ber size polydispersity. The media 2, 4, and 5 have di ﬀerent coarse ﬁber modes. The media 4 has more ﬁ bers in the coarse ﬁber mode because its ﬁ ber size peak is less than that of the media 2 and 5 (for a ﬁ xed solidity). As a result, the particle collection e ﬃciency of media 4 is higher than those of the media 2 and 5. Filter media 6 has the largest ﬁ ber diameter in the coarse ﬁber mode among six media and the volume fractions of ﬁne ﬁber mode are higher than other media. Media 6 thus has the number of ﬁbers in the ﬁne mode higher than those of media 1 and 2. Because the increase of ﬁ ber numbers in the ﬁ ne mode, the particle collection e ﬃciency of media 6 is comparable to that of media 1.
5. Conclusions
A new 2D numerical modeling with the consideration of ﬁber polydispersity has been proposed to predict the ﬁltration performance of ﬁbrous ﬁ lter media. Diﬀ erent from early numerical studies, the va lidation of our modeling was through the comparison of measured particle collection e ﬃ ciency of real ﬁlter media, i.e., HF0012 and HF 0493 in a wide particle size range, i.e., 3 –500 nm. In the modeling, real ﬁ brous ﬁlter media was modeled in the representative medium space ﬁ lled with polydisperse ﬁbers, resulting in the same ﬁlter thickness and solidity, and ﬁber size distribution as those measured. The ﬂ ow ﬁ eld and particle trajectory in model ﬁ lter media were calculated. The nu merical particle collection e ﬃciency of model ﬁlter media was derived from tracing the fates of more than 1,500 particles of a given size. The collection e ﬃciency of studied ﬁ lter media were calculated for particles in the sizes ranging from 3 to 500 nm and at two face velocities of 10 and 15 cm/sec. Experiments were also carried out to characterize the ﬁ ber size distribution and the particle collection eﬃ ciency of selected ﬁ lter media at two face velocities. The excellent agreement between the numerical and experimental collection eﬃ ciencies for particles in the sizes ranging from 3 to 500 nm evidences the success of proposed modeling in the prediction of particle collection eﬃ ciency of real ﬁ  brous ﬁ lter media. We further investigated the variation of particle collection e ﬃ ciency of ﬁ brous ﬁlter media due to the variation of ﬁ ber size polydispersity (both in unimodal and bimodal ﬁ ber distributions). In the case with unimodal ﬁ ber size distribution, it is observed that the variation of particle collection e ﬃ ciency is noticeable for particles in the sizes from 10 nm to 100 nm under the ﬁxed peak ﬁ ber size, solidity and ﬁlter thickness. It is also found that the change of particle collection e ﬃ ciencies of ﬁ lter media becomes more signiﬁ cant as the degree of ﬁ ber size polydispersity increases. The ﬁber polydispersity also inﬂ uences the collection e ﬃ ciency of ﬁbrous ﬁlter media with bimodal ﬁ ber size distributions. The particle collection e ﬃ ciency of bimodal ﬁlter media was a ﬀected by the peak ﬁ ber size, volume fraction and ﬁ ber poly dispersity in both ﬁ ne and coarse modes.
Acknowledgements
The authors thank the support of members of the Center for Filtration Research: 3M Corporation, A.O. Smith Company, Applied
S. Kang et al.
Materials, Inc., BASF Corporation, Boeing Company, Corning Co., China Yancheng Environmental Protection Science and Technology City, Cummins Filtration Inc., Donaldson Company, Inc., Entegris, Inc., Ford Motor Company, Guangxi Wat Yuan Filtration System Co., Ltd, MSP Corporation; Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Xinxiang Shengda Filtration Technology Co.,Ltd., TSI Inc., W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., Shigematsu Works Co., Ltd., and the a ﬃliate member National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Appendix A. Supplementary material
Supplementary data associated with this article can be found, in the online version, at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seppur.2018.07.068 .
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