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Electrically Assisted Aerosol Reactors using Ring Electrodes

  • H. Briesen (a1), A. Fuhrmann (a1) and S. E. Pratsinis (a2)

Abstract

Nanostructured materials have distinctly different properties than the bulk because the number of atoms or molecules on their surface is comparable to that inside the particles creating a number of new materials and applications. Despite this potential for nanoparticles, very few practical applications have been developed because of the current high cost of these materials ($100/lb). On the other hand, flame aerosol reactors are routinely used for inexpensive production (∼$1/lb) of submicron sized commodities such as carbon blacks, pigmentary titania, fumed silica and preforms for optical fibers in telecommunications. Flame technology can be used also for synthesis of nanoparticles with precisely controlled characteristics. In these reactors, gas mixing is used to widely control the primary particle size and crystallinity of product powders while electric fields can be used to narrowly control the primary, and aggregate particle size and crystallinity. Here the application of axial electrical fields on a silica producing flame using hexamethyldisiloxane (HMDS) as precursor is presented. Experiments varying the precursor delivery rate corresponding to total production rates of 10, 20 and 30 g/h are presented. Electric fields decreased the particle size by electrostatic dispersion and repulsion of charged particles and by the reduced particle residence time inside the flame.

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