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How To Make An Electrostatic Precipitator

Materials, Equipment, and Preparation


***The Results***

If the tube is charged, the punch holes will stick to the sides.
This activity can be used to study static electricity.
If the tube is not charged, the holes will shoot out in a spray.
This activity can be used to study Bernoulli's principle.



Balloon Activity


  • pepper or ashes
  • balloons
  • Procedure:

    Give each student an inflated balloon and some black pepper. Rub the balloon on your hair or with a piece of cloth. Hold the balloon over the pepper on your desk. What happens to the pepper?

     Ask the students what produces air pollution. Discuss that industry is just one producer of air pollution. Ask what kinds of pollutants are produced by industry. Discuss that particles (called particulate matter) can be captured before they enter the atmosphere by an electrostatic precipitator. Demonstrate with the plastic tube and black pepper how particles are attracted to the sides of the tube to an attraction much like the pepper was attracted to the balloon.