Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-382
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-382

  03 Dec 2021

03 Dec 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Quantification of major particulate matter species from a single filter type using infrared spectroscopy – Application to a large-scale monitoring network

Bruno Debus1, Andrew T. Weakley1, Satoshi Takahama2, Kathryn M. George1,3, Bret Schichtel4, Scott Copleland5, Anthony S. Wexler1,6, and Ann M. Dillner1 Bruno Debus et al.
  • 1Air Quality Research Center, University of California, Davis, California, 95616, USA
  • 2ENAC/IIE, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 3Monitoring and Laboratory Division, California Air Resources Board, Sacramento, CA 95811, USA
  • 4National Park Service, Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
  • 5Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 80523, USA
  • 6Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis, California, 85616, USA

Abstract. To enable chemical speciation, monitoring networks collect particulate matter (PM) on different filter media, each subjected to one or more analytical techniques to quantify PM composition present in the atmosphere. In this work, we propose an alternate approach that uses one filter type (teflon or polytetrafluoroethylene, PTFE, commonly used for aerosol sampling) and one analytical method, Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy to measure almost all of the major constituents in the aerosol. In the proposed method, measurements using the typical multi-filter, multi-analytical techniques are retained at a limited number of sites and used as calibration standards while sampling on PTFE and analysis by FT-IR is solely performed at the remaining locations. This method takes advantage of the sensitivity on the mid-IR domain to various organic and inorganic functional groups and offers a fast and inexpensive way of exploring sample composition. As a proof of concept, multiple years of samples collected within the Interagency Monitoring of PROtected Visual Environment network (IMPROVE) are explored with the aim of retaining high quality predictions for a broad range of atmospheric compounds including total mass, organic (OC), elemental (EC) and total (TC) carbon, sulfate, nitrate and crustal elements. Findings suggest that models based on only 21 sites, covering spatial and seasonal trends in atmospheric composition, are stable over a three year period within the IMPROVE network with prediction accuracy (R2 > 0.9, median bias less than 3 % for most constituents. Incorporating additional sites at low cost or partially replacing existing, more time and cost intensive techniques are among the potential benefits of one-filter, one-method approach.

Bruno Debus 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-2021-382', Anonymous Referee #2, 14 Jan 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2021-382', Anonymous Referee #1, 15 Jan 2022

Bruno Debus et al.

Bruno Debus et al.

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Short summary
Current routine particulate matter composition is measured in the US on samples collected on three types of filter media and uses several analytical techniques. In this work, we propose an alternate approach that uses one analytical technique, Fourier Transform-Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and one filter type to measure the chemical composition of particulate matter at a major US monitoring network. This method could be used to add low-cost sites to the network, fill-in missing data or QC.