Surface Plasma Electrode for Electrostatic Precipitators

EPA Contract Number: EPD08037
Title: Surface Plasma Electrode for Electrostatic Precipitators
Investigators: Alexander, Jeffrey
Small Business: Johansson Industries Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2008 through August 31, 2008
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2008) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Air Pollution


Electrostatic precipitators are widely used for the removal of particulate matter from boiler exhaust gases. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgation of National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) from Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters will require industry to install many new high-performance precipitators on such sources in the coming years.

The surface plasma (SP) electrode is an innovative technology intended to replace the conventional corona discharge electrodes in electrostatic precipitators. Laboratory investigations have shown that SP electrodes are capable of increasing the useful electrical power input to a precipitator by 1.5 to 2 times. This promises to result in a two-fold improvement in performance and a corresponding significant reduction in the cost of new precipitator installation. With the SP electrode, precipitators for small oil- and coal-fired boilers could be made significantly more efficient at removing fine particulate matter from their effluent gases.

The proposed Phase I research is to demonstrate and quantify the improved performance of SP electrodes on a precipitator treating a slip stream of exhaust gases from a coal-fired boiler. If successful, a Phase II full-scale installation would be called for. Both of these are necessary steps in commercialization of the SP technology. If completed successfully, these two phases would be sufficient to bring the technology to commercialization. It is anticipated that the SP electrode technology will be licensed to existing precipitator manufacturers in the United States and included with their equipment.

The design of the SP electrodes lends itself to use with electrostatic precipitators with very little change to their basic design. If demonstrated at full scale and technically successful, the SP electrode could become standard equipment in electrostatic precipitators installed on small industrial boilers. The improved performance they afford would decrease particulate emissions to the atmosphere and/or decrease the cost of precipitator installations. This would represent a significant advancement for particulate control technology.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, EPA, control of air pollution, particulate matter, boiler exhaust gases, surface plasma electrode, electrostatic precipitator, precipitator installation, effluent gases, industrial boiler, particulate control technology,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, combustion gas stream, air pollution control, particulate emissions

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Plasma Discharge Electrode for Electrostatic Precipitators  | Final Report