Sampling Instruments
Air-sampling instruments are supplied by 
Filter Sampling Station

A second generation air sampling station which uses a high-precision dynamic cyclone inlet to collect both PM2.5 and PM10  on separate filters within a single cartridge. 

Filters samples for 9 day periods, with 6 filters collecting PM
2.5 and 1 filter collecting PM10 along with one travelling blank. A cartridge thus samples autonomously for 54 days before needing to be replaced.

Integrating Nephelometer

This 3-wavelength integrating nephelometer measures aerosol scattering, RH% and temperature every 15 seconds. 
A clean-air reference system allows for the regular base-line correction while in the field.

Like the sampling stations, a cyclone inlet allows for a dynamic size cut which lets optical properties of the PM2.5 and PM10 fractions to be measured. 

Lab Equipment

At Washington University's Center for Aerosol Science and Engineering

Automated Filter Weighing
  • Teflon filters are weighed using Mettler Toledo's automated filter weighing and data processing system

  • System is EPA 40 CFR 1065; EPA 40 CFR 1066; Euro 4, Euro 5, Euro 6 compliant

  • Filters are loaded into silos, and selected in sequence. The filter carrier is picked up by a mechanical arm and delivered to the balance

  • Static is minimized for weighing by a built in Faraday cage which surrounds the balance platform

  • Weights are automatically recorded

  • Weighing is done at controlled temperature (21-23 deg C) and humidity (38-40 % RH)

Ion Chromatography
  • Both anions (Nitrate, Sulfate, Chloride) and cations (Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Sodium, Ammonium) concentrations are quantitatively determined

  • Separate separatory columns in individual instruments are used to analyze anions and cations on the Thermo Dionex systems

X-Ray Fluorescence
  • Trace metal content is quantified with the Panalytical Epsilon 4 X-Ray Fluorescence spectrometer 

At Dalhousie University
Filter Weighing
 (HERC Lab)
  • Sartorius Ultra-Fine Balance is accurate to ± 0.1 μg and is paired with an anti-static blower.

  • Filters are weighed in a ISO-4 standard clean room. Measurements are taken at controlled temperature (20-30 deg C) and humidity (30-40 % RH)

Effective Black Carbon
  • Effective Black Carbon (EBC) is measured via reflectance using a Diffusion Systems Smoke Stain Reflectometer (SSR)

  • Total EBC is logarithmically dependant on the reflectance R. EBC is thus quantified using an empirical conversion constant

Inductively-Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry
(Water Studies Lab)
  • Trace elements are extracted from Teflon filters using an HNO3 acid digestion on a heating block

  • Elemental concentration are detectable down to 0.1 ng/m3 and up to 1000 ng/m3

  • Metals of natural origin (Na, Mg, Mn, Al, Ti, Ba) and also elements commonly associated with anthropogenic activity (K, V, Cr, Fe, Zn, As, Ni, Pb) are all quantified


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