Particulate Matter and Black Carbon Monitoring

Reliable measurement of low concentrations of particulate matter is of critical importance due to their adverse health effects and their impact on global warming. Particulate matter (PM) emissions from combustion processes, such as in gas turbine, diesel, and gasoline engines, are generally comprised of both solid and volatile matter. The solid fraction consists primarily of elemental carbon (soot, black carbon), but may also contain ash (metal sulfates and oxides). Volatile matter is mostly hydrocarbon from the fuel and lubricant, and hydrated sulfuric acid, and is found either adsorbed on the surface of solid particles, or in the form of small droplets no larger than the primary soot particles, where the latter are typically on the order of 10-50 nm in diameter. Recent studies of the health effects of air pollution show that the levels of soot and other tiny particles found in large and mid-size cities increase the risk of premature death from cancer and heart disease. Black carbon (BC), the major component of soot, is known to be a significant contributor to atmospheric warming.

Artium offers the Laser Induced Incandescence (LII) instrument for the real-time, ultra-sensitive, measurement of PM/BC composition in raw engine exhaust and also for continuous monitoring of ambient air quality. The LII technique has high specificity to black carbon, and unlike other filter-based instruments used for similar applications, the method does not require manual handling of a sample and thus, it has very low maintenance and operating costs. Besides mass concentration measurement, the LII also measures the soot primary particle size.