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Analysis of semi-volatile materials (SVM) in fine particulate matter

Journal article
Authors Christian Mark Salvador
Charles C.K. Chou
Published in Atmospheric Environment
Volume 95
Pages 288-295
ISSN 13522310
Publication year 2014
Published at
Pages 288-295
Language en
Keywords Atmospheric aerosols, Denuder, FDMS-TEOM, Urban air quality
Subject categories Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences


The mass fraction of semi-volatile materials (SVM) in fine particulate matter (PM 2.5 ) was investigated at a subtropical urban aerosol observatory (TARO, 25.0 °N, 121.5 °E) in Taipei, Taiwan during August 2013. In particular, an integrated Denuder-FDMS-TEOM system was employed to study the effectiveness of the coupling of FDMS and TEOM instruments. The charcoal and MgO denuders used in this study performed a removal efficiency of 89 and 95% for positive interferences in OC and nitrate measurements, respectively, and did not induce a significant particle loss during the field campaign, suggesting that denuders should be considered as a standard device in PM 2.5 instrumentation. Analysis on the mass concentration and speciation data found that, as a result of SVM loss, FRM-based measurement underestimated PM 2.5 by 21% in our case. Coupling FDMS to TEOM significantly improved the bias in PM 2.5 mass concentration from -25% to -14%. The negative bias in FDMS-TEOM was attributed to the failure of FDMS in recovering the mass of lost SVOMs in PM 2.5 . The results of this study highlight the significance of SVM in a subtropical urban environment, give a warning of underestimated health risk relevant to PM 2.5 exposure, and necessitate further development of instrument and/or technique to provide accurate ambient levels of fine particulate matters. © 2014 The Authors.

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