Analytical Methods to Measure the Carbonaceous Content of Aerosols

  • R. K. Stevens
  • W. A. McClenny
  • T. G. Dzubay
  • M. A. Mason
  • W. J. Courtney


Increased use of diesel fuel and coal over the next decade could lead to increased amounts of carbonaceous material in fine particle aerosols. For this reason, EPA has for the past few years been developing and evaluating a number of analytical methods to characterize ambient concentrations of carbonaceous aerosols. These include methods based either on combustion of carbonaceous material to CO2 (or CH4) with subsequent detection, or on nondestructive optical measurements. These methods are designed so that the carbon content of aerosols can be measured in samples collected by dichotomous samplers using a variety of filter media. The combustion method uses a Dohrmann Model DC-50 carbon analyzer with a detection limit of 0.5μg.Optical measurements are made with prototype light transmission and photoacoustic instruments. Comparisons of combustion and optical methods are presented for carbon in aerosols collected in Houston, TX and the Shenandoah Valley of VA.


Elemental Carbon Time Series Plot Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory Teflon Filter Carbon Measurement 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. K. Stevens
    • 1
  • W. A. McClenny
    • 1
  • T. G. Dzubay
    • 1
  • M. A. Mason
    • 2
  • W. J. Courtney
    • 2
  1. 1.U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyResearch Triangle ParkUSA
  2. 2.Northrup Services, Inc.Research Triangle ParkUSA

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