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Issue 6, 2005
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Design and field application of an automated cartridge sampler for VOC concentration and flux measurements

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Abstract

One of the major limitations in advancing the understanding of tropospheric ozone and aerosol generation and developing strategies for their control is the technical ability to accurately measure volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This paper describes the design of a constant flow VOC sampler. The versatile sampler can be used for fully automated concentration and flux measurements of VOCs. The sampler incorporates a microprocessor control unit and provides highly accurate mass flow control and significant ease of operation. Sampling sequences can be programmed directly or by remote control through a PC. All important operational parameters necessary for a complete sampling audit trail are logged. Compact weatherproof housings and low power consumption allow operation at remote sites and locations which are sensitive to disturbances or have restricted access. Inner wetted surfaces of the sampler are constructed from non-contaminating materials that do not sorb or emit VOC, and thus permit the collection of representative samples even in environments with very low VOC concentrations. The cartridge magazine provides a maximum of 20 sequential cartridge samples, which allows for long-term air quality assessments. In the dual channel mode, two samples can be collected simultaneously through two independent sample loops, providing ten sequential sample pairs. This design allows the parallel collection of (a) quality assurance backup samples, (b) samples on two different types of cartridges/sorbents to allow a variety of analyses, or (c) differential samples for flux measurements using enclosure, aerodynamic profile, or relaxed eddy accumulation (REA) methods. Field applications including airplane profile measurements above a tropical rainforest area, as well as gradient and REA measurements over a mid-latitude mixed forest stand are described, and demonstrate the validity and flexibility of the system. In particular, the application of the VOC sampler as an integrated part of a REA system is emphasized.

Graphical abstract: Design and field application of an automated cartridge sampler for VOC concentration and flux measurements

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Jan 2005, accepted on 07 Apr 2005 and first published on 27 Apr 2005


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B500057B
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2005,7, 568-576
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    Design and field application of an automated cartridge sampler for VOC concentration and flux measurements

    U. Kuhn, T. Dindorf, C. Ammann, S. Rottenberger, P. Guyon, R. Holzinger, S. Ausma, T. Kenntner, F. Helleis and J. Kesselmeier, J. Environ. Monit., 2005, 7, 568
    DOI: 10.1039/B500057B

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