High volume electrostatic field-sampler for collection of fine particle bulk samples

Anoop Kumar Sharma, Håkan Wallin, Keld Alstrup Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A high volume electrostatic field-sampler was developed for collection of fine particles, which easily can be recovered for subsequent sample characterisation and bioassays. The sampler was based on a commercial office air cleaner and consisted of a prefilter followed by electrostatic collection plates operating at 2.7 kV. The sampler performance was characterised for 26 nm to 5.4 mu m-size particles in urban street air. The collection efficiency reached a maximum (60-70%) between 0.2 and 0.8 mu m and dropped to similar to 25% at 30 nm and 2.5 mu m, respectively. After extraction in water, the particle loss was <2%. The extraction efficiency for dry lyophilised particulate matter was above 80%, allowing retrievement of similar to 12 mg day(-1) in urban street air at PM10 levels of similar to 24 mu g m(-3). The ozone generating capacity of the corona discharge during operation was on the order of 10 ppb. A polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) degradation test using benzo[a]pyrene as a model showed that similar to 85% was degraded after 24h. However, similar results were observed when the corona discharge was switched off. Hence, the ozone and other corona discharge reactants do not appear to contribute considerably to PAH-degradation. The overall results show that the sampler type is a promising alternative to traditional sampling of fine particles for bulk analysis and bioassays. The main advantages are simple operation, high stability, high quantifiable particle recovery rates and low cost.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)369-381
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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