Self-Charging Media Air Filter (Electrostatic) rely on straining, impaction, and static electricity to clean the air.  The media consists of plastic fibres that are excellent electrical insulators, such as polystyrene and polypropylene.
One of the properties of polystyrene is its ability to create static electricity as air moves quickly through the filter.  This is why "packing peanuts" cling to anything in their path.  Moving air leaves random charges, and the effect is similar to the electrostatic charge that builds up on your body as you shuffle across the carpet in winter, then discharges when you touch a doorknob.
In theory, this electrostatic field polarized dirty air particles, causing more of them to stick to the medium.  In practice, self-charging media filters are only marginally better performers than throw-away fibre glass filters of the same density.  The strength of the electrostatic field is insufficient to polarize most particles, and the polystyrene media is too thin for effective straining and impaction.  Moist air also reduces the static charge.


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