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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-237
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-237
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  08 Jul 2020

08 Jul 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal AMT and is expected to appear here in due course.

Evaluation of optical particulate matter sensors under realistic conditions of strong and mild urban pollution

Adnan Masic1, Dzevad Bibic1, Boran Pikula1, Almir Blazevic1, Jasna Huremovic2, and Sabina Zero2 Adnan Masic et al.
  • 1Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sarajevo, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • 2Faculty of Science, University of Sarajevo, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Abstract. In this paper we evaluate characteristics of three optical particulate matter sensors/sizers (OPS): high-end spectrometer 11-D (Grimm, Germany), low-cost sensor OPC-N2 (Alphasense, United Kingdom) and in-house developed MAQS which is based on another low-cost sensor – PMS5003 (Plantower, China), under realistic conditions of strong and mild urban pollution. Results were compared against a reference gravimetric system, based on Gemini (Dadolab, Italy), 2.3 m3/h air sampler, with two channels (simultaneously measuring PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations). The measurements were performed in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, from December 2019 until May 2020. This interval is divided into period 1 – strong pollution (December 2019–March 2020) and period 2 – mild pollution (March 2020–May 2020). The city of Sarajevo is one of the most polluted cities in Europe in terms of aerosols: the average concentration of PM2.5 during the period 1 was 83 μg/m3, with daily aveverage values exceeding 500 μg/m3. During period 2, the average concentration of PM2.5 was 20 μg/m3. These conditions represent a good opportunity to test optical devices against reference instrument in a wide range of ambient particulate matter (PM) concentrations. The effect of an in-house developed diffusion dryer for 11-D is discussed as well. In order to analyze the mass distribution of aerosols, a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) spectrometer, which together with the 11-D spectrometer gives the full spectrum from nanoparticles of diameter 10 nm to coarse particles of diameter 35 μm, was used. All tested devices showed excellent correlation with the reference instrument in period 1, with R2 values between 0.90 and 0.99 for daily average PM concentrations. However, in period 2, where the range of concentrations was much narrower, R2 values decreased significantly, to values from 0.28 to 0.92. We have also included results of a 13.5 month long-term comparison of our MAQS sensor with a nearby beta attenuation monitor (BAM) 1020 (Met One Instruments, USA) operated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), which showed similar correlation and no observable change of performance over time.

Adnan Masic et al.

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Evaluation of optical particulate matter sensors under realistic conditions of strong and mild urban pollution Masic, Adnan; Bibic, Dzevad; Pikula, Boran; Blazevic, Almir; Huremovic, Jasna; Zero Sabina https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3897379

Adnan Masic et al.

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Short summary
Optical based particulate matter sensors offer some advantages: price (especially low-cost sensors), time and space resolution, but they are less accurate then reference instruments. Understanding their performance and limitations is crucial for the wider adoption. This is a case study for strong and mild air pollution done in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Tested optical sensors were found to be generally acceptable in this study, but proper calibration is required for getting reliable data.
Optical based particulate matter sensors offer some advantages: price (especially low-cost...
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