Charged Aerosols: Focus Meeting 2 of the Aerosol Society

29 April 2015

The second Focus Meeting of the Aerosol Society was co-organised and supported by the electrostatics and environmental physics groups of the Institute of Physics and held at the IOP building in London, UK, in October 2013. The meeting was attended by 25 delegates, including two invited speakers and six proffered talks.

The morning session began with an invited talk by Professor Wamadeva Balachandran from Brunel University titled The effect of electrostatic charge in the pharmaceutical industry. The talk covered a variety of topics including the numerical deposition of particles in the human lung and the charging of particles emitted from inhalers. The following talk by Ari Ukkonen of Dekati continued the theme by presenting measurements of charge from a dry powder inhaler using the Dekati ELPI and their new instrument, the Dekati Bipolar Charge Analyzer (BOLAR).

Mr Sarda-Estève (CEA/LSCE France) demonstrated a new light portable device, the BIODOSI, that has been developed to detect particulates using electrostatic precipitation. Results from environmental testings, and analysis of collected substances were presented. Dr Charlie Mahoney from the University of Ulster spoke about the detection of airborne micro-organisms by injection into a plasma. Results from experiments detecting pollen grains were presented.

Following a lunch break, the meeting continued with a session on environmental topics, beginning with the second invited talk of the day from Professor Ken Carslaw from the University of Leeds, titled Ion-induced particle nucleation and the CERN CLOUD experiment. Professor Carslaw’s talk presented results from a controlled environmental chamber that made use of a proton synchrotron beam at CERN to control the level of ionisation.  Before a final tea break, Dr Keri Nicoll from the University of Reading discussed possible mechanisms of self-charging within the plume of the Grimsvöten eruption in Iceland; laboratory experiments on ash samples from the plume demonstrated possible charging of aerosol through triboelectrification.

The final two talks of the day discussed some fundamentals of aerosol charging. Mr James Davies from the University of Bristol spoke about the fundamental properties of aerosols from experiments on single particles, and the implications of charge.  Dr Adam Boies of Cambridge University presented measurements of the mobility distribution of various bipolar aerosol chargers (radioactive, x-ray and electrical) and showed that the mobility distributions differed in each method of charging.

The intention of the meeting was to bring together researchers from disparate fields of aerosol science who had worked with electrostatic charge, and the day attracted delegates who worked in areas including environmental sciences, medical sciences, and instrumental development. Each talk was well received and generated good discussion.

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