Date of Award

Fall 1997

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Robert Benedict Barat

Second Advisor

John G. Stevens

Third Advisor

Robert Pfeffer


A major problem with many soot emission control devices is the fact that they quickly become loaded with soot which must be removed by a regeneration process. A soot capture reactor using a large flow channel was studied in order to eliminate channel plugging and avoid regeneration. Electrostatic precipitation was used in order to enhance particle diffusion to the catalyst wall of the reactor tube. The system effectiveness for soot capture was measured with filter paper sampling of the incoming versus the outgoing flow through the reactor. Soot filter loadings were analyzed by laser optical transmission. From the soot filter paper samplings combined with a visual inspection of the catalyst material surface, the system effectiveness at low voltages was a combination of the electrostatic precipitation and the catalytic oxidation. Reactor outlet soot concentrations showed a significant decrease when high voltage was applied, showing a strong effect of the electrostatic precipitation. However, catalytic oxidation was not apparent at high voltages because a heavy coating of soot was found on the catalyst surface. Computer simulation models using the Chebyshev Polynomial Software Package were developed to approximate the amount of soot deposited in the reactor tube. The simulation predictions are compared to the experimentally observed soot capture results. The results from this simulation confirmed that the external electric field generated by the use of a central wire has a major effect on the soot capture in the reactor tube.