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The paper gives a survey of the significant developments in the science of electrostatic precipitation since 1970, with special reference to electrical characteristics. The review specifically identifies the main physical processes that take place and the relevant fundamental equations and relationships. Reference is made to electric and current fields, voltage-current relationships, collection theories, particle resistivity, back corona, energisation and modern technological developments. Also included are a select number of papers that give good reviews of specific areas, or that in their own right make an original contribution to the science of electrostatic precipitation.