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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
06 Mar 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
Bias caused by water adsorption in hourly PM measurements
Gyula Kiss, Kornélia Imre, Ágnes Molnár, and András Gelencsér MTA-PE Air Chemistry Research Group, University of Pannonia, Egyetem 10, 8200 Veszprém, Hungary
Abstract. Beta attenuation monitors are used worldwide to monitor PM concentration with high temporal resolution. Hourly PM10 and PM2.5 dry mass concentrations are publicly available with the tacit assumption that water is effectively removed prior to the measurement. However, as both the filter material of the monitor and the aerosol particles are capable of retaining significant amount of water even at low relative humidities, the basic assumption may not be valid resulting in significant bias in reported PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations. Here we show that in PM10 measurement particle-free air can produce apparent hourly average PM concentrations in the range of −13–+21 µg m−3 under conditions of fluctuating relative humidity. Positive and negative apparent readings are observed with increasing and decreasing relative humidities, respectively. Similar phenomena have been observed when the instrument filter was previously loaded with atmospheric aerosol. As a result, the potential measurement biases in hourly readings arising from the interaction with water may be in the range of −53 %–+69 %.

Citation: Kiss, G., Imre, K., Molnár, Á., and Gelencsér, A.: Bias caused by water adsorption in hourly PM measurements, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., doi:10.5194/amt-2017-20, in review, 2017.
Gyula Kiss et al.
Gyula Kiss et al.
Gyula Kiss et al.


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