Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Asit K. Ray


Dust capture for small coal particles (<2.5µm) can be improved if one takes advantage of electrostatic charges that resides on the surface of coal dust particles and on the surface of water spray droplets used to capture coal dust. Traditional dust capture methods that use water sprays are ineffective in capturing small dust particles since the motion of small dust particles is governed by electrostatic forces. If additives such as ionic surfactants could be added to water that would enhance the surface charge on water spray droplets, dust capture with water sprays could be improved.

The results presented show that n-sodium octyl sulfate causes the greatest charge enhancement versus the longer chained n-sodium dodecyl sulfate and n-sodium octadecyl sulfate. This can be explained by considering the factors that lead to droplet charge enhancement. Those factors are the mass of surfactant ions at the droplet surface, and the diffusion rate of the surfactant ions from the bulk droplet to the surface of the droplet. Sodium octyl sulfate will have a faster diffusion rate to the droplet surface because of its relatively short length, and will also maximize the mass balance of surfactant ions at the drop surface.