Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 12, 2015
Previous Article Next Article

Exploring the role of the sampler housing in limiting uptake of semivolatile organic compounds in passive air samplers

Author affiliations

Abstract

Passive air samplers (PASs) are simple, versatile devices that are increasingly used to determine the concentrations of semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in the atmosphere. Using PAS and interpreting PAS-derived data with confidence requires a detailed understanding of the factors that control the uptake kinetics. A number of experiments were aimed at clarifying the role that the housing has in limiting the uptake of SVOCs in a PAS. Specifically, we quantified the gradient in the amount of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) accumulated in XAD-filled mesh cylinders with increasing distance from the PAS housing's opening. That gradient was non-existent in an artificially ventilated housing (i.e. different segments of a cylinder contained the same amount of PCBs), minor during outdoor deployments (i.e. the bottom third of the cylinder sampled approximately 20% more PCBs than the top third), and strong during indoor deployments (i.e. the bottom third of the cylinder sampled twice the amount sampled by the top third). This is consistent with the thickness of the air boundary layer surrounding the XAD-resin increasing with increasing distance from the housing's opening and decreasing with increasing air turbulence. An experiment with housings absorbing different amounts of sunlight revealed that heat-induced convection has a minor effect on the gradient within the mesh cylinder and on the total amount of accumulated PCB. Similarly, this gradient and the total amount sorbed was also not influenced by the number of XAD-filled mesh cylinders placed within a housing as long as they were deployed outdoors. However, if four mesh cylinders were placed in one housing in a calm indoor setting, the top third of the mesh cylinders was notably starved of PCBs, suggestive of an air concentration gradient within the sampler housing.

Graphical abstract: Exploring the role of the sampler housing in limiting uptake of semivolatile organic compounds in passive air samplers

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 11 Sep 2015, accepted on 18 Nov 2015 and first published on 18 Nov 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5EM00447K
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2015,17, 2006-2012
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
  •   Request permissions

    Exploring the role of the sampler housing in limiting uptake of semivolatile organic compounds in passive air samplers

    X. Zhang, M. Hoang, Y. D. Lei and F. Wania, Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2015, 17, 2006
    DOI: 10.1039/C5EM00447K

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements