Design and evaluation of an inlet conditioner to dry particles for real-time particle sizers.
Peters TM; Riss AL; Holm RL; Singh M; Vanderpool RW
J Environ Monit 2008 Apr; 10(4):541-551
Real-time particle sizers provide rapid information about atmospheric particles, particularly peak exposures, which may be important in the development of adverse health outcomes. However, these instruments are subject to erroneous readings in high-humidity environments when compared with measurements from filter-based, federal reference method (FRM) samplers. Laboratory tests were conducted to evaluate the ability of three inlet conditioners to dry aerosol prior to entering a real-time particle sizer for measuring coarse aerosols (Model 3321 Aerodynamic Particle Sizer, APS) under simulated highly humid conditions. Two 30 day field studies in Birmingham, AL, USA were conducted to compare the response of two APSs operated with and without an inlet conditioner to that measured with FRM samplers. In field studies, the correlation of PM(10-2.5) derived from the APS and that measured with the FRM was substantially stronger with an inlet conditioner applied (r2 ranged from 0.91 to 0.99) than with no conditioner (r2 = 0.61). Laboratory experiments confirmed the ability of the heater and desiccant conditioner to remove particle-borne moisture. In field tests, water was found associated with particles across the sizing range of the APS (0.5 microm to 20 microm) when relative humidity was high in Birmingham. Certain types of inlet conditioners may substantially improve the correlation between particulate mass concentration derived from real-time particle sizers and filter-based samplers in humid conditions.
Particulate dust; Particulates; Pollution; Exposure limits; Exposure methods; Respiratory irritants; Respiration; Respirable dust; Samplers; Sampling equipment; Sampling methods
Thomas M. Peters, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, The College of Public Health, The University of Iowa, 102 IREH, 100 Oakdale Campus, Iowa City, IA 52242
Journal of Environmental Monitoring
University of Iowa