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Development and Validation of a Novel Particle Source for Nano-sized Test Aerosols

Category: Aerosol Physics and Instrumentation

Volume: 19 | Issue: 4 | Pages: 677-687
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.06.0219
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Christian Monsé 1, Christian Monz2, Burkhard Stahlmecke3, Birger Jettkant1, Jürgen Bünger1, Thomas Brüning1, Volker Neumann2, Dirk Dahmann2

  • 1 Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance, Institute of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (IPA), 44789 Bochum, Germany
  • 2 Institute for the Research on Hazardous Substances (IGF), 44789 Bochum, Germany
  • 3 Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology e.V. (IUTA), 47229 Duisburg, Germany

Highlights

  • Novel particle source for nano-sized test aerosols.
  • Coupling of a droplet generation device with a flame generator.
  • Low number concentrations and long-term stability of the particle generation process.
  • Suitable system for inter-laboratory round robin tests with particles.

Abstract

In the EU, there is an increasing need for regulatory agencies to establish health-based threshold limits for airborne particles. A prerequisite for such projects is the validation and comparison of existing and newly developed particle analyzers. Corresponding proficiency tests have often been conducted with the help of inter-laboratory tests using test aerosols. Although test aerosols in the micro- and the nanoscale range were produced with different generator systems at the technical center of the Institute for the Research on Hazardous Substances (IGF) in Dortmund, a stable and reproducible method of producing a low number concentration for nano-sized particles was not achieved. Inspired by a method of monodisperse droplet generation, we coupled a flame generator with a droplet generator and examined the concentration and the diameter of the formed particles as a consequence of the precursor concentration and the droplet frequency. In addition, the reproducibility of the method was tested daily, and the nanoparticles were collected and characterized microscopically. Finally, the measurements of the particle size distribution were mathematically examined. The resulting fits enable the prediction of the median particle diameter as a function of the precursor concentration and the frequency of the droplets. Overall, the performed experiments confirm that this system meets all the requirements with regard to a low number concentration and long-term stability and reproducibility and should therefore be suitable for further inter-laboratory round robin tests.

Keywords

Nanoparticles Test aerosol Flame generator Droplet generator


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