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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 03 Apr 2018

Research article | 03 Apr 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Effects of Temperature, Pressure, and Carrier Gases on the Performance of an Aerosol Particle Mass Analyser

Ta-Chih Hsiao1, Li-Hao Young2, Yu-Chun Tai1, and Po-Kai Chang1 Ta-Chih Hsiao et al.
  • 1Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Central University, Taoyuan, 32001, Taiwan
  • 2Department of Occupational Safety and Health, China Medical University, Taichung, 40402, Taiwan

Abstract. Effective density is a crucial parameter used to predict the transport behaviour and fate of particles in the atmosphere, and for measuring instruments used ultimately in the human respiratory tract (Ristimäki et al., 2002). The aerosol particle mass analyser (APM) was first proposed by Ehara et al. (1996) and is used to determine the effective density of aerosol particles. A compact design (Kanomax APM-3601) was subsequently developed by Tajima et al. (2013). Recently, a growing number of field studies have reported application of the APM, and experimental schemes using the differential mobility analyser alongside the APM have been adopted extensively. However, environmental conditions such as ambient pressure and temperature vary with the experimental location, and this could affect the performance of the APM. Gas viscosity and Cunningham slip factors are parameters associated with temperature and pressure and are included in the APM’s classification performance parameter: λ. In this study, the transfer function and APM operational region were calculated and discussed to examine their applicability. Air, oxygen, and carbon dioxide were selected to atomize aerosols in the laboratory with the aim of evaluating the effect of gas viscosity on the APM’s performance. Using monodisperse polystyrene latex spheres with nominal diameters of 50 and 100nm, the experimental results for the classification accuracy of the APM were consistently within 10%. Based on the theoretical analysis of the APM’s operational region, the lowest mass detection limit can be extended from 5.9×10−2 to 1.4×10−3fg when the carrier gas is hydrogen (viscosity = 8.82×10−4N·s/m2) with a chosen λ value of 0.5. Moreover, it can be further extended to 7.0×10−4fg when the pressure is reduced from 101.3 to 80kPa, which implies that performance may be affected during field study. These results provide an insight into the ability to extend the classifiable size range without modifying the hardware of the APM or scarifying the classification resolution.

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Ta-Chih Hsiao et al.
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Ta-Chih Hsiao et al.
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Short summary
Ambient pressure and temperature could vary with locations, which imply that classifying aerosol particle mass using APM might be influenced in high-altitude sites. On the other hand, when the APM was used as a particle classifier coupled with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, argon would be required as the carrier gas. Therefore, air, oxygen, and carbon dioxide were selected as carrier gases to evaluate the effect of gas viscosity and the mean free path on the performance of APM.
Ambient pressure and temperature could vary with locations, which imply that classifying aerosol...