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Triboelectric charging of fungal spores during resuspension and rebound

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-197
Number of pages11
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The triboelectric charging of fungal spores was experimentally characterized during rebound and resuspension. A fungal spore source strength tester (FSSST) was used as a primary aerosol generator for spores of three fungal species and two powders (silicon carbide and silver). The critical velocity of rebound was determined using a variable nozzle area impactor (VNAI), and the charging state of particles after resuspension and rebound was measured using the FSSST, different impactor setups, electrometers, and optical particle counters. In the impactor setups and the FSSST, five different surface materials relevant for indoor environments were used (steel, glass, polystyrene, paper, and polytetrafluoroethylene). The critical velocity of rebound was determined to be 0.57 m/s for fungal spores, which is relatively low compared to silicon carbide and previous results for micron-sized aerosol particles. Based on the rebound impactor measurements, we were able to define the crucial parameters of charge transfer for different particle-surface material pairs. A contact charge parameter, which describes the triboelectric charging during rebound, was found to have a negative correlation with the charging state of the particles after the resuspension from an impactor. This connects the triboelectric charging during rebound and resuspension to each other. Based on the contact charge parameter values, quantified triboelectric series could be formed. The results of this work show that fungal spores can be charged both positively and negatively during rebound and resuspension depending on the fungal species and surface material.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland