An automated and semi-continuous method for measuring water-soluble constituents in PM2.5 was developed. The system consists of a multi-tube diffusion scrubber (MTDS), a low temperature particle impactor (LTPI), an inertial air/liquid separator, and two ion chromatography systems. The MTDS acts as an interfering gas removal system and also as a humidifier for growing particles. Since the MTDS operates at 40 °C, the loss of volatile compounds and hydrological conversion of nitrogen oxides to nitrite were not of significant concern. The condensation of water vapor, dissolution of soluble constituents, and capture of insoluble particles occurred in the LTPI. The condensed liquid containing the dissolved species and the insoluble particles was separated from the airflow using an inertial air/liquid separator. The analysis of cations and anions in the effluent liquid was performed using two ion chromatography systems. The collection efficiency, including the inlet loss, of the system was 96.6 ± 7.1% at an air flow rate of 1.0 SLPM. The limits of detection ranged from 12 to 57 ng/m3 for major ionic constituents without any pre-concentration procedure. This method was tested in the field and the average data capture was over 90%, demonstrating the reliability of the system.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal