Particulate sampling in the flue gas at the Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP) outlet during injection of powdered activated carbons (PACs) has provided strong anecdotal evidence indicating that injected PACs can penetrate the ESP in significant concentrations. The low resistivity of PAC is consistent with poor collection efficiency in an ESP and lab-scale testing has revealed significantly different collection behavior of PAC in an ESP as compared to fly ash. The present study illustrates the use of a commercial CFD package — FLUENT — to investigate precipitation of powdered activated carbon (PAC) in the presence and absence of electric field. The computational domain is designed to represent a 2-D wire-plate ESP channel. The governing equations include those covering continuous phase transport, electric potential, air ionization, and particle charging. The particles are tracked using a Lagrangian Discrete Phase Model (DPM). In addition, a custom user-defined function (UDF) uses a deforming boundary condition and a prescribed critical particle velocity to account for particle deposition and dust-cake growth on the electrodes. The effect of Electrohydrodynamics (EHD) induced flow on the ESP collection efficiency under various flow and particle characteristics as well as different ESP configurations are illustrated.

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