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Current and Emerging Techniques for Characterizing Tropospheric Aerosols

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Abstract:Particulate matter generally includes dust, smoke, soot, or aerosol particles. Environmental research addresses the origin, size, chemical composition, and the formation mechanics of aerosols. In the troposphere, fine aerosols (e.g. with diameters < 2.5 um) remain suspended until aggregation, agglomeration or flocculation to form larger particles, leading to sedimentation and deposition. Aerosols are often hygroscopic nuclei that attract water vapor and form droplets. The finer suspended particles are human health hazards, since once breathed into the lungs, they are trapped and remain there to cause a number of respiratory problems. The ability to measure and to characterize aerosols has been evolving, so that numerous methods are presently available. However, several challenges remain; including improved gravimetric for very small particles (< 1 um) and optical techniques for small particles (< 2.5 um), real-time and on-line measurements of chemical composition (e.g. single particle mass spectrometry), and means for enhanced precision and accuracy (e.g. decreased losses in sampling apparatus, including pressure drops, particle bounce, and chemical reactions on filters, as well as remote and portable measurement and analytical capabilities).

Although this work was reviewed by EPA and approved for publication, it may not necessarily reflect official Agency policy.
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Citation:Vallero, D. A. Current and Emerging Techniques for Characterizing Tropospheric Aerosols. Presented at Mechanics in the Environment Seminar, Durham, NC, September 1, 2004.
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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: Exposure Measurements & Analysis Branch
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Product Type: Abstrct/Oral
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Presented: 09/01/2004
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Methods Development at the Near Lab Ecological Research Area (Nlera) Located in the Neuse River Basin.
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
URL: http://cfpub.epa.gov