Effect of angle of attack on the performance of an airborne counterflow virtual impactor

Junhong Chen, William C. Conant, Tracey A. Rissman, Richard C. Flagan, John H. Seinfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A three-dimensional model has been developed within the framework of the commercial computational fluid dynamics program, FLUENT®, to investigate the collection efficiency of an airborne counterflow virtual impactor (CVI). The model assumes steady-state, isothermal, compressible, and turbulent flow. Particle trajectories are computed based on the Lagrangian discrete phase model (DPM). In addition to predicting the effects of flight velocity and counterflow rate on the particle collection efficiency, as do prior models, the model quantifies the effect of flight attack angle on the particle collection efficiency. With an angle of attack as small as 5°, the CVI collection efficiency drastically degrades at large particle sizes, and only particles with intermediate sizes are collected. Smaller particles do not have sufficient inertia to fight the counterflow, and larger particles tend to impact the CVI inner walls and are lost to the CVI walls. The modeling results show that the alignment between the free stream flow and the CVI inlet is critical to the performance of the CVI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-491
Number of pages7
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pollution


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