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How does a filter work?

The finest mesh filters have a size of the order of 100 nm. The particles size greater than 100 nm are blocked by inertia or interception. But nanoparticles are not taken up by a simple mechanical lock: their diffusion behavior allows catching them. In addition in the filters, the particles agglomerate easily.

In a stream of air, thermal diffusion of nanoparticles promote their capture by the filter.

Important speeds (from 10 to 100 m/sec) and average paths of nanoparticles are responsible for trapping by the filter. The probability of contact between a nanoparticle and a fiber of the filter is very high: paradoxically, especially as the particle is small.