Comparison of sampling methods for Carbonaceous aerosols in ambient air

S. V. Hering, B. R. Appel, W. Cheng, F. Salaymeh, S. H.P.A. Cadle Mulawa, T. A. Cahill, A. Eldred, M. Surovik, D. Fitz, J. E. Howes, K. T. Knapp, L. Stockburger, B. J. Turpin, J. J. Huntzicker, X. Q. Zhang, P. H. McMurry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Measurement methods for fine particle carbon were compared under field sampling conditions. Sampling methods included filtration, impaction, and adsorptioncorrected filtration. Systems were operated side-by-side for nine consecutive days in the Los Angeles Basin. Analytical M methods were compared separately. For organic carbon and total carbon, ambient measurements showed greater variability than could be accounted for by differences in analytical methods, and these differences are attributed to sampling methodology. The highest reported concentrations were obtained by quartz filter sampling; the lowest were from the sum of the impactor stages (excluding the quartz alterfilters). Positive artifact from the adsorption of gaseous vapors on quartz fiber filters was significant. However, correction for vapor adsorption by subtraction of the carbon value on the second of two filters in series did not completely elimenate the dependence of the apparent total aerosol carbon concentration on filter face velocity or sample duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-213
Number of pages14
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pollution


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