Development of methodology to correct sampling error associated with FRM PM10 samplers



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Currently, a lack of accurate emission data exits for particulate matter (PM) in agricultural air quality studies (USDA-AAQTF, 2000). PM samplers, however, tend to over estimate the concentration of most agricultural dusts because of the interaction of the particle size distribution (PSD) and performance characteristics of the sampler (Buser, 2004). This research attempts to find a practical method to characterize and correct this error for the Federal Reference Method (FRM) PM10 sampler. First, a new dust wind tunnel testing facility that satisfies the USEPA?s requirement of testing PM10 samplers was designed, built, and evaluated. Second, the wind tunnel testing protocol using poly-dispersed aerosol as the test dust was proved to be able to provide results consistent with mono-dispersed dusts. Third, this study quantified the variation of over sampling ratios for the various cut point and slopes of FRM PM10 samplers and proposed an averaged over sampling ratio as a correction factor for various ranges of PSD. Finally, a method of using total suspended particle (TSP) samplers as a field reference for determining PM10 concentrations and aerosol PSD was explored computationally. Overall, this dissertation developed successfully the methodology to correct the sampling error associated with the FRM PM10 sampler: (1) wind tunnel testing facilities and protocol for experimental evaluation of samplers; (2) the variation of the oversampling ratios of FRM PM10 samplers for computational evaluation of samplers; (3) the evaluation of TSP sampler effectiveness as a potential field reference for field evaluation of samplers.