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Chemical Analysis Methods for Atmospheric Aerosol Components

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Abstract: This chapter surveys the analytical techniques used to determine the concentrations of aerosol mass and its chemical components. The techniques surveyed include mass, major ions (sulfate, nitrate, ammonium), organic carbon, elemental carbon, and trace elements. As reported in the literature, there are wide variations in the chemical composition of the aerosol and their concentrations, thus, requiring application of several analytical methods to obtain valid data. Over the last decade, determination of organic aerosol species in ambient particulate matter has become feasible. Availability of this type of detailed organic aerosol data have greatly enhanced the ability of receptor models to identify sources (Schauer et al. 1996; Schauer and Cass 2000). Thus, analytical methods to determine organic aerosol species are described in this chapter. Finally, semi-continuous species-specific methods, are rapidly emerging that could eliminate the need to collect aerosols on filters with retrospective chemical analysis in the laboratory. These methods are becoming available for sulfate, nitrate, other anions and cation species, OC, EC, and trace elements. These methods are mentioned briefly at the end of this chapter.

The analysis method is only one aspect involved in determining the concentration of species in atmospheric particulate matter after collection of the sample on a filter or other substrate. Other issues include sample storage, where applicable, sample extraction from the filter, and quality control and quality assurance. Sample storage includes stabilizing the collected sample from the end of sampling through sample analysis. It also may include long-term storage to allow for reanalysis of the filter later. Finally, precision and accuracy of the measurements are needed to define uncertainty in data. These issues also will be briefly mentioned in this chapter.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through its Office of Research and Development collaborated in the preparation of this review chapter. It has been subjected to Agency review and approved for publication. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation for use.
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Citation:Solomon, P. A., G. A. Norris, M. S. Landis, and M. P. Tolocka. Chemical Analysis Methods for Atmospheric Aerosol Components. Aerosol Measurements, Chapter11. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company Incorporated, New York, NY, (2001).
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Contact: Liz Hope - (919) 541-2785 or hope.elizabeth@epa.gov
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Division: Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Division
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Branch: Human Expsoure Research Branch
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Product Type: Book Chaptr
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Published: 01/08/2001
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Heasd PM Research Methods: Particle Methods Evaluation and Development
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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