The value of the resistivity for a dust sample depends upon a number of variables, including dust chemistry, dust porosity, dust temperature, composition of gaseous environment (i.e. gas moisture), magnitude of applied electric field strength, and test procedure.
In working with electrostatic precipitators (ESP), resistivities are encountered in the range from about 1E4 to 1E14 OHM-CM. The optimum value for resistivity is generally considered to be in the range of 1E8 to 1E11 OHM-CM. In this range the dust is conductive enough that charge does not build-up in the collected dust layer and insulate the collecting plates.
Additionally the dust does not hold too much charge and is adequately cleaned from the collecting plates by normal rapping. If resistivity is in the range 1E12 to 1E14 OHM-CM, it is considered to be high resistivity dust. This dust is tightly held to the collecting plates, because the dust particles do not easily conduct their charge to ground. This insulates the collecting plates and high ESP sparking levels result (also poor ESP collection efficiencies). Conversely if the dust is low resistivity, 1E4 to 1E7 OHM-CM, the dust easily conducts its charge to the grounded collecting plates. Then there is not residual charge on the dust particles to hold them on the plates. Thus these particles are easily dislodged and re-entrain back into the gas stream. ESP gas velocities are generally designed in the 2.5-3.5 FT/S range, if high carbon particles are to be collected.