Thermo Precipitator


ME 8 Team: Alexander Marinos, Sean Dardis, Brian Shanahan, Zachere Priest
Advisor: Dr. Robert Stiger
Liaison: Art Miller

This project is part of a larger effort to support workplace safety and health in mining facilities. Our team designed, built, and tested a thermophoretic precipitator. This device can collect nanometer sized particles from the air in mines for analysis under high power electron microscopes to determine their potential health risks.

This device uses a process called thermophoresis which occurs when particles enters a region with a strong temperature gradient. Particles are forced toward the cold region because of unidirectional diffusion. The technology to accomplish this task already exists. The purpose of this project was to modify existing technology into a smaller portable package which could be handled and operated by an individual.

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Dr. Stephen E. Silliman
Phone: (509) 313-3522