How Does an Electrostatic Precipitator Work?

Different types of electrostatic precipitator systems have been around for over 100 years, but how does an electrostatic precipitator work?

ESP dust collectors–AKA Electrostatic Precipitators–use electricity to create an electrostatic force that separates dust from the air or exhaust gas flowing through it.

Parts of an Electrostatic Precipitator

All electrostatic precipitators have three main parts:

Electrostatic Process

The contaminated air flows into the electrostatic precipitator, and flows through an area where the power supply has created a strong electrostatic field by applying a high-voltage negative-charged current near the opening of the air flow–typically in the form of wires, or thin metal rods, causing the dust particles that flow through to gain a negative charge.

The air then flows through a series of collection plates to which the power supply has created a strong positive charge. The negatively charged particles are attracted to the positively charged plates and get lodged there.

This process continues until there is a need to clean the collection plates from all of the accumulated grime and other contaminants, or replace the media filters that capture the negatively charged dust particles.

Why Smog-Hog Electrostatic Precipitators Are Superior

The ESP technology used in Smog-Hog brand electrostatic precipitators and mist collectors have superior ESP efficiency. These units create an extremely high rate of particle removal efficiency for submicronic particulates–those smaller than 1 µm (micrometres). A single pass of a Smog-Hog ESP removes 95% particles as small as .3 µm, and 97% of those that pass through the system twice.

Contact Matrix Systems for Smog-Hog Electrostatic Precipitators

We are the leading providers of Smog-Hog electrostatic precipitators in the Bay Area, Sacramento Valley and Northern Nevada areas. Give us a call at either (510) 822-5167 for Bay Area customers or (530) 273-5474 for Sacramento Valley and Northern Nevada area customers, complete our online contact form, or email us at for more information about our electrostatic precipitator products.