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Issue 9, 2008
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Quality control and quality assurance for particle size distribution measurements at an urban monitoring station in Augsburg, Germany

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Abstract

Long-term observations of atmospheric constituents such as aerosol particles are increasingly needed to assess their impact on climate and human health. In contrast to particle mass concentration (MC), there are currently no standardized quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) procedures for the measurement of particle size distribution (PSD). This study describes some fundamental QC and QA procedures associated with the collection and evaluation of a 2 year dataset between 2005 and 2006 at an urban background monitoring site in Augsburg, Germany. The considered parametres include ambient PSD between 3 nm and 10 μm (merged from a twin differential mobility and an aerodynamic particle sizer, TDMPS and APS, respectively) as well as total particle number (TNC), length (LC) and MC determined by independent instruments. The hourly 1st and 0th moment of PSD showed good correlations with the independently measured LC (R2 = 0.86) and TNC (R2 = 0.79), respectively, the deviation for LC with 4% and for TNC with 22% being rather small. The volume concentration (3rd moment) of hourly measured PSD and the resultant MC (when assuming a realistic apparent density of 1.5 g cm−3) correlated well with the independently measured MC of PM2.5 or PM10 (R2 > 0.86) and showed only small deviation from PM2.5 (1%) or PM10 (5%), respectively. The study demonstrates that the described QC and QA measures define both a high accuracy of the PSD measurements and their long-term comparability against data obtained in similar measurement programmes.

Graphical abstract: Quality control and quality assurance for particle size distribution measurements at an urban monitoring station in Augsburg, Germany

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Apr 2008, accepted on 24 Jul 2008 and first published on 01 Aug 2008


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B807264G
J. Environ. Monit., 2008,10, 1017-1024

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    Quality control and quality assurance for particle size distribution measurements at an urban monitoring station in Augsburg, Germany

    M. Pitz, W. Birmili, O. Schmid, A. Peters, H. E. Wichmann and J. Cyrys, J. Environ. Monit., 2008, 10, 1017
    DOI: 10.1039/B807264G

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