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Open Access An Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM) for Routine Monitoring of the Composition and Mass Concentrations of Ambient Aerosol

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We present a new instrument, the Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM), which routinely characterizes and monitors the mass and chemical composition of non-refractory submicron particulate matter in real time. Under ambient conditions, mass concentrations of particulate organics, sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, and chloride are obtained with a detection limit <0.2 g/m3 for 30┬ámin of signal averaging. The ACSM is built upon the same technology as the widely used Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS), in which an aerodynamic particle focusing lens is combined with high vacuum thermal particle vaporization, electron impact ionization, and mass spectrometry. Modifications in the ACSM design, however, allow it to be smaller, lower cost, and simpler to operate than the AMS. The ACSM is also capable of routine stable operation for long periods of time (months). Results from a field measurement campaign in Queens, NY where the ACSM operated unattended and continuously for 8 weeks, are presented. ACSM data is analyzed with the same well-developed techniques that are used for the AMS. Trends in the ACSM mass concentrations observed during the Queens, NY study compare well with those from co-located instruments. Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) of the ACSM organic aerosol spectra extracts two components: hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol (HOA) and oxygenated organic aerosol (OOA). The mass spectra and time trends of both components correlate well with PMF results obtained from a co-located high resolution time-of-flight AMS instrument.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts, USA 2: Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts, USA,CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA 3: Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, California, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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