Organic and elemental carbon filter sets: preparation method and interlaboratory results.
Chai-M; Birch-ME; Deye-G
Ann Occup Hyg 2012 Oct; 56(8):959-967
Carbonaceous aerosols play an important role in climate, visibility, air quality, and human health effects, and they have been routinely monitored in workplace and environmental settings. Different thermal analysis methods have been applied to determine the carbon content of carbonaceous aerosols. Good agreement between results for total carbon (TC) generally has been found, but the organic and elemental carbon (OC and EC) fractions determined by different methods often disagree. Measurement uncertainty is mainly due to pyrolysis and charring of OC sample components. Lack of reference materials has impeded progress on method standardization and understanding method biases. A relatively simple method for generating matched filter sets having known OC-EC contents is reported. After generation and analysis of each set to confirm agreement between filters, the filter sets were distributed to six laboratories for an interlaboratory comparison. Analytical results indicate a uniform carbon distribution for the filter sets and good agreement between the participating laboratories. Relative standard deviations (RSDs) for mean TC (OC + EC), OC, and EC results for seven laboratories were <10, 11, and 12% (respectively). Except for one EC result (RSD = 16%), RSDs reported by individual laboratories for TC, OC, and EC were <12%. The method of filter generation is generally applicable and reproducible. Depending on the application, different filter loadings and types of OC materials can be employed. Matched filter sets prepared by the described approach can be used for determining the accuracy of OC-EC methods and thereby contribute to method standardization.
Aerosols; Climatic-factors; Humans; Air-quality; Monitors; Work-environment; Environmental-exposure; Analytical-processes; Analytical-methods; Carbonates; Carbonyls; Organic-compounds; Laboratories; Filters; particulates; Particulate-dust; Particulates; Aerosol-particles; Nanotechnology;
Author Keywords: black carbon; carbonaceous aerosol; elemental carbon; organic carbon; particulate matter; ultrafine
M. Eileen Birch, Division of Applied Research and Technology, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, MS-R7, Cincinnati, OH 45226
Annals of Occupational Hygiene