Experimental study on enhancing electrostatic charging of nonwoven filter media through novel electrode configurations


  • Hanane Boudra
  • Rafik Sayah
  • Abdelkader Benaissa




corona discharge, nonwoven polypropylene filters, electrostatic charging, electrode configuration


The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the urgent need for efficient particle filtration to tackle public health challenges. This study compares the electrostatic charging capabilities of two types of electrodes: conventional Metal Lamellar Electrodes (MLE) and Modified Lamellar Plate Electrodes (MLPE) with PMMA insulation, in their role of charging nonwoven polypropylene filter media. Experimental analysis unequivocally demonstrates the superiority of MLPE in promoting effective electrostatic charge, as influenced by applied high voltage and inter-electrode distance, resulting in a significant enhancement in fine particle filtration. Numerical simulations of the electric field conducted using the COMSOL software and employing the Finite Element Method (FEM) validate these findings. FEM discretizes the domain into small finite elements and applies Laplace's equation in charge-free regions, providing a comprehensive understanding of the behavior of dual-electrode corona discharge systems. These simulations indicate higher field intensities for MLPE compared to MLE.By integrating experimental and numerical analyses, this study sheds light on the potential benefits of MLPE for air filtration systems, offering a noteworthy advancement in the control of airborne infections and reduction of environmental health risks. This research lays the groundwork for the development of more efficient and durable filtration systems, meeting the increasing demands for public health protection.The findings of this study suggest that the adoption of MLPE could significantly contribute to improving indoor air quality and mitigating the transmission of respiratory diseases. MLPE may also find utility in industrial filtration and air purification in sensitive work environments. Ultimately, this research sets the stage for the development of more efficient and sustainable filtration systems, addressing the growing needs for public health protection.


Liao, L. et al. Can N95 respirators be reused after disinfection? How many times? ACS Nano, v. 14, n. 12, p. 6348–6356, 2020. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.0c03597.

Mahowald, N. Aerosol indirect effect on biogeochemical cycles and climate. Science, v. 334, n. 6057, p. 794–796, 2011. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1207374.

Zhang, H. et al. Design of polypropylene electret melt blown nonwovens with superior filtration efficiency stability through thermally stimulated charging. Polymers, (Basel), 2020.

Hutton, I. M. Handbook of Non-Woven Media. Elsevier Sciences, 2007.

Leung, W. W. F.; Sun, Q. Electrostatic charged nanofiber filter for filtering airborne novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and nano-aerosols. Separation and Purification Technology, v. 250, 116886, 2020.

Tabti, B. et al. Factors that influence the corona charging of fibrous dielectric materials. Journal of Electrostatics, v. 67, n. 2-3, p. 193–197, 2009. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.elstat.2009.01.047.

Nifuku, M. et al. Charging characteristics for electret filter materials. Journal of Electrostatics, v. 51-52, p. 20-25, 2001. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3886(01)00107-7.

Plopeanu, M. C. et al. Surface potential decay of charged non-woven media for air-filtration. IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, v. 18, n. 4, p. 1393–1400, 2011. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1109/TDEI.2011.6032835.

Billington, N. S. Air filtration. Journal of the Institute of Heating and Ventilating Engineers, v. 14, p. 46–95, 1947.

Turnhout, J. V. et al. Electret filters for high-efficiency and high-flow air cleaning. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Applications, v. 17, n. 3, p. 240–248, 1981. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1109/TIA.1981.4503922.

Romay, F. J.; Liu, B. Y. H.; Chae, S. J. Experimental study of electrostatic capture mechanisms in commercial electret filters. Aerosol Science and Technology, v. 28, n. 3, p. 224–234, 1998. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/02786829808965536.

Walsh, D. C.; Stenhouse, J. I. T. Parameters affecting the loading behavior and degradation of electrically active filter materials. Aerosol Science and Technology, v. 29, n. 5, p. 419–432, 1998. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/02786829808965549.

Jasper, W. J. et al. Degradation processes in corona-charged electret filter-media with exposure to ethyl benzene. Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics, v. 2, n. 1, p. 1–6, 2007.

Kanaoka, C. et al. Effect of charging state of particle on electret filtration. Aerosol Science and Technology, v. 7, p. 1–13, 1987. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/02786828708959144.

Kilic, A.; Shim, E.; Pourdeyhimi, B. Measuring electrostatic properties of fibrous materials: a review and a modified surface potential decay technique. Journal of Electrostatics, v. 74, p. 21–26, 2015. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.elstat.2014.12.007.

Das, D.; Waychal, A. On the triboelectrically charged nonwoven electrets for air filtration. Journal of Electrostatics, v. 83, p. 73–77, 2016. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.elstat.2016.08.004.

Lee, S.; Kim, J. Method for Manufacturing Electrostatic Non-woven Intake Filter and Electrostatic Non-woven Intake Filter Using the Same. United States Patent Application Publication. Pub. No.: US 2011/0132195 A1.

Chapman, R. L. High efficiency active electrostatic air filter and method of manufacture. United States Patent. Patent No. U. S. Jpn. Outlook 6, 514, 324 B1.

Yang, Z. Z. et al. Particle filtration with an electret of nonwoven polypropylene fabric. Textile Research Journal, v. 72, n. 12, p. 1099–1104, 2002. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/004051750207201210.

Hutten, I. M. Handbook of Nonwoven Filter Media (2nd ed.). Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, UK: The Boulevard, Langford Lane, 2016.

Castle, G. S. P. Industrial applications of electrostatics: the past, present, and future. Journal of Electrostatics, v. 51-52, p. 1–7, 2001. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3886(01)00068-7.

Plopeanu, M. C. et al. Repartition of electric potential at the surface of non-woven fabrics for air filtration. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Applications, v. 48, n. 2, p. 851–856, 2012.

Ouatah, E. H. et al. Effect of room’s temperature and electrode gap on current of negative corona discharge in rod-plane electrode configuration. Mathematical Modelling of Engineering Problems, v. 9, n. 2, p. 298-304, 2022. Retrieved from http://iieta.org/journals/mm

Wardaya, A. Y. et al. Capacitance calculation model in corona discharge case. Mathematical Modelling of Engineering Problems, v. 9, n. 5, p. 1161-1171, 2022. https://doi.org/10.18280/mmep.090501

Deng, J. et al. Analysis of the Movement Characteristics of Corona Winds during Needle-Plate Discharge. International Journal of Heat and Technology, v. 34, n. 4, p. 574-580, 2016. https://doi.org/10.18280/ijht.340404




How to Cite

Boudra, H., Sayah, R., & Benaissa, A. (2024). Experimental study on enhancing electrostatic charging of nonwoven filter media through novel electrode configurations. STUDIES IN ENGINEERING AND EXACT SCIENCES, 5(1), 1610–1624. https://doi.org/10.54021/seesv5n1-082