“How can we remove fine particles from a gas without contact?”
When a gas is being transported for use, it often has many fine particles (such as dust and smoke) attached, which can induce health issues. Traditional methods of removing these particles involve using physical barriers to filter out all particles. However, this has the effect of disrupting the flow of the gas. So how can we use our engineering mindset to solve this problem? Well, we know that from fundamental physics that there are two types of forces (contact and distance). And we also know that the latter can be caused by either gravitation, electrical, or nuclear interactions. And these fine particles in the gas are susceptible to become polarized and become at the whim of electromagnetic interaction. So what if we were to simply implement electromagnetic plates perpendicular to the flow of a gas, and suck up all of the fine particles while keeping the gas itself intact? Well, this is the fundamental idea behind Electrostatic Precipitators and are used in industries all around the world.