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Comparison of instruments for particle number size distribution measurements in airquality monitoring

Price, Heather Dawn, Stahlmecke, B., Arthur, Robert Alan, Kaminski, H., Lindermann, J., Däuber, E., Asbach, C., Kuhlbusch, T.A.J., Berube, Kelly Ann and Jones, Timothy Peter 2014. Comparison of instruments for particle number size distribution measurements in airquality monitoring. Journal of Aerosol Science 76 , pp. 48-55. 10.1016/j.jaerosci.2014.05.001

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Number size distributions of airborne particles are relevant to a number of fields including atmospheric, pharmaceutical and automotive. A variety of different aerosol instruments can be used to determine particle number size distribution data including the Electrical Low Pressure Impactor (ELPI), Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS), Fast Mobility Particle Sizer (FMPS) and the Aerodynamic Particle Sizer (APS). The comparability of the data provided by these instruments has not been fully tested for different kinds of aerosols. This study compared number size distributions of laboratory generated aerosols (TiO2, NaCl, fumed silica and soot) in a wind tunnel. Reasonable agreement was noted between the different instruments, though there were divergences. For example the ELPI was less reliable at the upper and lower limits of its working size limits (at low concentrations). Instruments responded variably to different particle types, which has important implications for sampling heterogeneous particle mixtures such as those found in urban air. This study highlights the need for caution when comparing data obtained from different particle instruments, and demonstrates the requirement for further comparison studies in controlled settings using an assortment of particle types with the aim to standardise and harmonise particle sampling protocols.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0021-8502
Date of Acceptance: 10 May 2014
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2022 07:01

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