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Performance study of portable devices for the real-time measurement of airborne particle number concentration and size (distribution)

  • Bau, Sébastien
  • Payet, Raphaël
  • Witschger, Olivier
  • Jankowska, Elżbieta
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2017
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The aim of this experimental study was to investigate the performance of both portable and transportable devices devoted to the real-time measurement of airborne particle number concentration and size (distribution). Electrical mobility spectrometers (SMPS, FMPS, Nanoscan) as well as diffusion chargers (DiSCmini, Nanotracer) were studied. Both monodisperse and polydisperse aerosols were produced within the CAIMAN facility to challenge the instruments. The monodisperse test aerosols were selected in the 15-400 nm diameter range using a differential mobility analyser (DMA), and presented number concentrations of between 6.10 2 and 2.10 5 cm-3. The polydisperse test aerosols presented modal diameters of between 8 and 270 nm and number concentrations between 4.10 3 to 10 6 cm-3. The behavior of the different devices is expressed as (1) the ratio of the reported diameter to the reference diameter, and (2) the ratio of the reported number concentration to the reference concentration. These results are displayed as boxplots to better represent the statistical distribution of the experimental results. For the group of electrical mobility spectrometers, a good agreement between SMPS and FMPS and the reference was demonstrated. A slight tendency for the Nanoscan to underestimate particle size distribution for particles above around 100 nm was observed. The data reported for the group of diffusion chargers demonstrate that all, except the Nanotracer, show a tendency to underestimate particle diameter, by a factor around-40% to-10%. In the case of particle concentration, larger deviations were observed.

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