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Measurement System Evaluation for Upwind/Downwind Sampling of Fugitive Dust Emissions

Category: Articles

Volume: 11 | Issue: 4 | Pages: 331-350
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2011.03.0028
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John G. Watson 1,2, Judith C. Chow1,2, Li Chen1, Xiaoliang Wang1, Thomas M. Merrifield3, Philip M. Fine4, Ken Barker5

  • 1 Desert Research Institute, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV 89512, USA
  • 2 Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 10 Fenghui South Road, Xi’an High-Tech Zone, Xi’an 710075, China
  • 3 BGI Incorporated, 58 Guinan Street, Waltham, MA 02451, USA
  • 4 South Coast Air Quality Management District, 21865 Copley Drive, Diamond Bar, CA 91765, USA
  • 5 Sully-Miller Contracting Co., 135 S. State College Boulevard, Brea, CA 92821, USA


Eight different PM10 samplers with various size-selective inlets and sample flow rates were evaluated for upwind/ downwind assessment of fugitive dust emissions from two sand and gravel operations in southern California during September through October 2008. Continuous data were acquired at one-minute intervals for 24 hours each day. Integrated filters were acquired at five-hour intervals between 1100 and 1600 PDT on each day because winds were most consistent during this period. High-volume (hivol) size-selective inlet (SSI) PM10 Federal Reference Method (FRM) filter samplers were comparable to each other during side-by-side sampling, even under high dust loading conditions. Based on linear regression slope, the BGI low-volume (lovol) PQ200 FRM measured ~18% lower PM10 levels than a nearby hivol SSI in the source-dominated environment, even though tests in ambient environments show they are equivalent. Although the TSI DustTrak DRX PM10 concentrations did not equal those from the hivol SSI, both instruments were highly correlated (R = 0.9) at the two downwind sites. Multiple size ranges from the TSI DustTrak DRX and Grimm optical particle counters (OPC) allowed the identification of spatial non-uniformity for sources within and outside the facilities. Narrow dust plumes were only detected by some of the continuous instruments across the sampler array. Upwind PM10 concentrations at one of the locations were higher than the downwind concentrations owing to a high concentration of industrial and vehicular activities. The shorter-duration measurements and quantification of super-coarse (> 10 µm) particles with high deposition velocities available from optical particle counters is needed to evaluate the effects of local emissions on both upwind and downwind samples.


Fugitive dust Upwind/Downwind sampling Fence line Sand/Gravel operations PM10

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