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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2015-1016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2015-1016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 19 Jan 2016

Submitted as: research article | 19 Jan 2016

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). The revised manuscript was not accepted.

Intercomparison of four different cascade impactors for fine and ultrafine particle sampling in two European locations

A. S. Fonseca1,2, N. Talbot3,4, J. Schwarz3, J. Ondráček3, V. Ždímal3, J. Kozáková3,4, M. Viana1, A. Karanasiou1, X. Querol1, A. Alastuey1, T. V. Vu5, J. M. Delgado-Saborit5, and R. M. Harrison5,† A. S. Fonseca et al.
  • 1Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDÆA - CSIC), Barcelona, 08034, Spain
  • 2Universidad de Barcelona, Facultad de Química, Barcelona, 08028, Spain
  • 3Institute of Chemica Process Fundamentals of the ASCR, v.v.i. (ICPF), Prague, 165 02, Czech Republic
  • 4Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Institute for Environmental Studies, Prague, 128 43, Czech Republic
  • 5University of Birmingham, Division of Environmental Health & Risk Management, Birmingham, B15 2TT,UK
  • Also at: Department of Environmental Sciences / Center of Excellence in Environmental Studies, King Abdulaziz University, PO Box 80203, Jeddah, 21589, Saudi Arabia

Abstract. Due to the need to better characterise the ultrafine particles fraction and related personal exposure, several impactors have been developed to enable the collection of ultrafine particles (<100 nm). However, to the authors’ kno wledge there have been no field campaigns to-date intercomparing impactor collection of ultrafine particles. The purpose of this study was two-fold: 1) to assess the performance of a number of conventional and nano-range cascade impactors with regard to the particle mass size distribution under different environmental conditions and aerosol loads and types, and 2) to characterise aerosol size distributions including ultrafine particles using impactors in 2 European locations. The impactors used were: (i) Berner low-pressure impactor (BLPI; 26 nm - 13.5 μm), (ii) nano-Berner low-pressure impactor (nano-BLPI; 11 nm - 1.95 μm) and (iii) Nano-microorifice uniform deposit impactor (nano-Moudi; 10 nm-18 μm), and (iv) Personal cascade impactor Sioutas (PCIS; <250 nm - 10 μm). Taking the BLPI as an internal reference, the best agreement regarding mass size distributions was obtained with the nano-BLPI, independently of the aerosol load and aerosol chemical composition. The nano-Moudi showed a good agreement for part icle sizes >320 nm, whereas for particle diameters <320 nm this instrument recorded larger mass concentrations in outdoor air than the internal reference. This difference could be due to particle bounce, to the dissociation of semi volatiles in the coarser stages and/or to particle shrinkage during transport through the impactor due to higher temperature inside this impactor. Further research is needed to understand this behaviour. With regard to the PCIS, their size-resolved mass concentrations were compar able with other impactors for PM1, PM2 and PM10, but the cut-off at 250 nm did not seem to be consistent with that of the internal reference.

A. S. Fonseca et al.
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AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Interactive discussion
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Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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A. S. Fonseca et al.
A. S. Fonseca et al.
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Short summary
This work assessed the performance of 4 cascade impactors, by means of two intercomparison exercises in 2 European locations. The comparability between the different types of impactors assessed was dependent on particle size and on impactor design characteristics. Particle processes such as particle bounce, dissociation of semi volatiles in the coarser stages and/or particle shrinkage were identified as the main causes for the differences observed in particle mass across size fractions.
This work assessed the performance of 4 cascade impactors, by means of two intercomparison...
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