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Application of a Telescoping Microextraction Needle Trap Sampling Device on a Drone to Extract Airborne Organic Vapors

Category: Air Pollution Modeling

Volume: 19 | Issue: 7 | Pages: 1593-1601
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2019.04.0183
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Wen-Hsi Cheng 1, Tso-Sheng Hsieh2, Chun-Mou Chu3, Chia-Chin Chiang2, Chung-Shin Yuan3

  • 1 Department of Occupational Safety and Hygiene, Fooyin University, Kaohsiung 83102, Taiwan
  • 2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology, Kaohsiung 80778, Taiwan
  • 3 Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan


  • An needle trap sampler (NTS) was installed on a drone to extract gaseous VOCs.
  • The optimal location to extract VOCs was found by a flow simulation software.
  • NTS was equipped on a telescoping shaft to extend the sampling distance.
  • The mobile sampler is recommended to collect VOCs emitted from factories.


A quadrotor drone was equipped with an active solid phase microextraction (SPME) sampling device, known as a needle trap sampler (NTS), for extracting airborne volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The NTS, which has a 22-gauge stainless steel needle that is manually packed with 60–80-mesh adsorbent divinylbenzene (DVB) particles, was attached to a telescoping shaft to extend the sampling range beyond the strong downward stream that flows across the propellers of a hovering drone. The end of the NTS inlet was positioned below the head of the drone, which was the optimal location determined by using the flow simulation software SolidWorks. Our results confirm the feasibility of collecting toluene, ethylbenzene, and p-xylene matrix vapor with a telescoping SPME sampling device on a quadrotor drone using a pilot VOC exhaustion system. Therefore, we recommend this mobile system for sampling polluted air emitted by industrial factories.


Solid phase microextraction Needle trap sampler Drone Volatile organic compounds Air pollution

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