Evaluation of the TEOM method for the measurement of particulate matter for Texas cattle feedlots



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The Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalance (TEOM) sampler is an EPA approved Federal Equivalent Method Sampler for measuring PM10 concentrations. The Center for Agricultural Air Quality Engineering and Science (CAAQES) owns two Rupprecht and Patashnick (R&P) Series1400a monitors. The R&P Series 1400a monitor uses the TEOM method to measure particulate matter (PM) concentrations and was approved by EPA in 1990 as an automated equivalent method PM10 sampler. Since its approval, many state air pollution regulatory agencies (SAPRAs) have located R&P Series 1400a monitors at community-oriented monitoring sites. Some SAPRAs have even located TEOM samplers at the property line of major sources to determine if the source is meeting its permit requirements for PMc emissions. This thesis presents the results of PM10 and TSP concentrations measured with TEOM and low-volume gravimetric samplers at two Texas cattle feedlots. The purpose of this research was to compare the performance of the R&P Series 1400a monitor to the low-volume gravimetric sampler when sampling PM from a feedlot. Furthermore, this research was conducted to avoid the inappropriate regulation of cattle feedlots that may occur in the future as a consequence of the TEOM sampler being used to measure PMc emissions. The results of this research demonstrate that relationship between the R&P Series 1400a monitor and the low-volume gravimetric sampler is linear. In general, it was observed that the TEOM sampler measured higher PM10 and TSP concentrations than the low-volume gravimetric sampler when sampling downwind from a cattle feedlot. The opposite results were observed when sampling was conducted upwind from the feedlot. The collected data demonstrates that the concentration difference between the two sampling methods is linearly dependent with the concentration intensity for the upwind sampling locations. This trend was shown to be statistically significant. Another linear relationship was observed between the concentration difference and the particle size (mass median diameter and geometric standard deviation) of the sampled dust. Although this trend was not statistically significant, it is believed that additional downwind concentration measurements would validate this relationship.