Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-136
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-136

  03 Jun 2021

03 Jun 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Assessment of Real-time Bioaerosol Particle Counters using Reference Chamber Experiments

Gian Lieberherr1, Kevin Auderset2, Bertrand Calpini1, Bernard Clot1, Benoît Crouzy1, Martin Gysel-Beer3, Thomas Konzelmann1, José Manzano4,a, Andrea Mihajlovic5, Alireza Moallemi3, David O'Connor4,6, Branko Sikoparija5, Eric Sauvageat1,b, Fiona Tummon1, and Konstantina Vasilatou2 Gian Lieberherr et al.
  • 1Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, Payerne, Switzerland
  • 2Federal Institute of Metrology METAS, Bern-Wabern, Switzerland
  • 3Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland
  • 4Technological University of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  • 5BioSense Institute - Research Institute for Information Technologies in Biosystems, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia
  • 6Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland
  • anow at: the Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
  • bnow at: the Institute of Applied Physics and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Abstract. This study presents the first reference calibrations of three commercially available bioaerosol detectors. The Droplet Measurement Technologies WIBS-NEO, Plair Rapid-E, and Swisens Poleno were compared with a primary standard for particle number concentrations at the Federal Institute for Metrology METAS. Polystyrene (PSL) spheres were used to assess absolute particle counts for diameters from 0.5 μm to 10 μm. For the three devices, counting efficiency was found to be strongly dependent on particle size. The results confirm the expected detection range for which the instruments were designed. While the WIBS-NEO achieves its highest efficiency at smaller particles, e.g. 90 % for 0.9 μm diameter, the Plair Rapid-E performs best for larger particles, with an efficiency of 58 % for particles with a diameter of 10 μm. The Swisens Poleno is also designed for larger particles, but operates well from 2 μm. However, the exact counting efficiency of the Poleno could not be evaluated as the cut-off diameter range of the integrated concentrator unit was not completely covered. In further experiments, three different types of fluorescent particles were tested to investigate the fluorescent detection capabilities of the Plair Rapid-E and the Swisens Poleno. Both instruments showed good agreement with the reference data. While the challenge to produce known concentrations of larger particles above 10 μm or even fresh pollen particles remain, the approach presented in this paper provides a potential standardised validation method that can be used to assess counting efficiency and fluorescence measurements of automatic bioaerosol monitoring devices.

Gian Lieberherr et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2021-136', Ghislain Motos, 30 Jun 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Gian Lieberherr, 22 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2021-136', Anonymous Referee #1, 24 Jul 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Gian Lieberherr, 16 Aug 2021

Gian Lieberherr et al.

Gian Lieberherr et al.

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Short summary
Today there is no standard procedure to validate bioaerosol and pollen monitors. Three instruments were tested, focusing on detecting particles of different sizes. Only one instrument was able to detect the smallest particles (0.5 µm Ø) whereas the others performed best at the largest tested particles (10 µm Ø). These results are the first step towards a standardized validation procedure. The need for a reference counting method for larger particles (pollen grains: 10–200 µm Ø) was emphasized.