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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-176
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-176
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 29 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 29 Jul 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Towards an understanding of surface effects: Testing of various materials in a small volume measurement chamber and its relevance for atmospheric trace gas analysis

Ece Satar1,2, Peter Nyfeler1,2, Céline Pascale3, Bernhard Niederhauser3, and Markus Leuenberger1,2 Ece Satar et al.
  • 1Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 2Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 3Federal Institute of Metrology METAS, Bern, Switzerland

Abstract. A critical issue for the long-term monitoring of atmospheric trace gases is precision and accuracy of the measurement systems employed. To ensure the best preparation and measurement conditions for trace gases in very low amount fractions, usage of coated materials is in demand in gas metrology and atmospheric measurement communities. This study focuses on the testing of different materials or coatings that are currently used, or may be relevant in future for the measurements of greenhouse gases. For this study, we used the previously tested small volume cylinders, which were constructed such that they can serve as adsorption test chambers. Various materials with or without coatings were loaded into the small cylinder to test their adsorption/desorption behavior. We used the aluminum cylinder as the measurement chamber, and glass, aluminum, copper, brass, steel and three different commercially available coatings as test materials. Inserting the test materials into the measurement chamber doubles the available geometric area for the surface processes. The presented experiments were designed to investigate the pressure dependency up to 15 bar, and temperature dependency up to 80 °C for the test materials placed in the measurement chamber. Here, we focused on the species CO2, CH4, CO and H2O measured by a cavity ring down spectroscopy analyzer. Our results show that the materials currently used in atmospheric measurements are well-suited. The investigated coatings were not superior to untreated aluminum or to stainless steel at the tested pressure ranges, whereas under changing temperature aluminum showed better performance for CO2 (< 0.05 μmol mol−1 change in measured amount fractions) than stainless steel (> 0.1 μmol mol−1). To our knowledge, this study is one of the first attempts to investigate surface effects of different materials in such a setup for the above-mentioned gases.

Ece Satar et al.
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Short summary
To ensure the best preparation and measurement conditions for trace gases, usage of coated materials is in demand in gas metrology and atmospheric measurement communities. In this article, previously introduced aluminum measurement chamber is used to investigate materials such as glass, aluminum, copper, brass, steel and three different commercially available coatings. Our measurements focus on temperature and pressure dependencies for the species CO2, CO, CH4, and H2O using a CRDS analyzer.
To ensure the best preparation and measurement conditions for trace gases, usage of coated...
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