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Investigation of aerosol surface area estimation from number and mass concentration measurements: particle density effect.

Ku BK; Evans DE
Aerosol Sci Tech 2012 Apr; 46(4):473-484
For nanoparticles with nonspherical morphologies, e.g., open agglomerates or fibrous particles, it is expected that the actual density of agglomerates may be significantly different from the bulk material density. It is further expected that using the material density may upset the relationship between surface area and mass when a method for estimating aerosol surface area from number and mass concentrations (referred to as "Maynard's estimation method") is used. Therefore, it is necessary to quantitatively investigate how much the Maynard's estimation method depends on particle morphology and density. In this study, aerosol surface area estimated from number and mass concentration measurements was evaluated and compared with values from two reference methods: a method proposed by Lall and Friedlander for agglomerates and a mobility based method for compact nonspherical particles using well-defined polydisperse aerosols with known particle densities. Polydisperse silver aerosol particles were generated by an aerosol generation facility. Generated aerosols had a range ofmorphologies, count median diameters (CMD) between 25 and 50 nm, and geometric standard deviations (GSD) between 1.5 and 1.8. The surface area estimates from number and mass concentration measurements correlated well with the two reference values when gravimetric mass was used. The aerosol surface area estimates from the Maynard's estimation method were comparable to the reference method for all particle morphologies within the surface area ratios of 3.31 and 0.19 for assumed GSDs 1.5 and 1.8, respectively, when the bulkmaterial density of silver was used. The difference between the Maynard's estimation method and surface area measured by the reference method for fractal-like agglomerates decreased from 79% to 23% when the measured effective particle density was used, while the difference for nearly spherical particles decreased from 30% to 24%. The results indicate that the use of particle density of agglomerates improves the accuracy of the Maynard's estimation method and that an effective density should be taken into account, when known, when estimating aerosol surface area of nonspherical aerosol such as open agglomerates and fibrous particles.
Nanotechnology; Particulate-dust; Particulates; Fibrous-dusts; Aerosol-particles
Bon Ki Ku, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4676 Columbia Parkway,MS-R3, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226
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Aerosol Science and Technology
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division