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Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
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    A concept of an automated function control for ambient aerosol measurements using mobility particle size spectrometers
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Schladitz, A.; Merkel, M.; Bastian, S.; Birmili, W.; Weinhold, K.; Löschau, G.; Wiedensohler, A.
    An automated function control unit was developed to regularly check the ambient particle number concentration derived from a mobility particle size spectrometer as well as its zero-point behaviour. The function control allows unattended quality assurance experiments at remote air quality monitoring or research stations under field conditions. The automated function control also has the advantage of being able to get a faster system stability response than the recommended on-site comparisons with reference instruments. The method is based on a comparison of the total particle number concentration measured by a mobility particle size spectrometer and a condensation particle counter while removing diffusive particles smaller than 20 nm in diameter. In practice, the small particles are removed by a set of diffusion screens, as traditionally used in a diffusion battery. Another feature of the automated function control is to check the zero-point behaviour of the ambient aerosol passing through a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. The performance of the function control is illustrated with the aid of a 1-year data set recorded at Annaberg-Buchholz, a station in the Saxon air quality monitoring network. During the period of concern, the total particle number concentration derived from the mobility particle size spectrometer slightly overestimated the particle number concentration recorded by the condensation particle counter by 2 % (grand average). Based on our first year of experience with the function control, we developed tolerance criteria that allow a performance evaluation of a tested mobility particle size spectrometer with respect to the total particle number concentration. We conclude that the automated function control enhances the quality and reliability of unattended long-term particle number size distribution measurements. This will have beneficial effects for intercomparison studies involving different measurement sites, and help provide a higher data accuracy for cohort health and climate research studies.
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    Mobility particle size spectrometers: Calibration procedures and measurement uncertainties
    (Philadelphia, Pa : Taylor & Francis, 2017) Wiedensohler, A.; Wiesner, A.; Weinhold, K.; Birmili, W.; Hermann, M.; Merkel, M.; Müller, T.; Pfeifer, S.; Schmidt, A.; Tuch, T.; Velarde, F.; Quincey, P.; Seeger, S.; Nowak, A.
    Mobility particle size spectrometers (MPSS) belong to the essential instruments in aerosol science that determine the particle number size distribution (PNSD) in the submicrometer size range. Following calibration procedures and target uncertainties against standards and reference instruments are suggested for a complete MPSS quality assurance program: (a) calibration of the CPC counting efficiency curve (within 5% for the plateau counting efficiency; within 1 nm for the 50% detection efficiency diameter), (b) sizing calibration of the MPSS, using a certified polystyrene latex (PSL) particle size standard at 203 nm (within 3%), (c) intercomparison of the PNSD of the MPSS (within 10% and 20% of the dN/dlogDP concentration for the particle size range 20–200 and 200–800 nm, respectively), and (d) intercomparison of the integral PNC of the MPSS (within 10%). Furthermore, following measurement uncertainties have been investigated: (a) PSL particle size standards in the range from 100 to 500 nm match within 1% after sizing calibration at 203 nm. (b) Bipolar diffusion chargers based on the radioactive nuclides Kr85, Am241, and Ni63 and a new ionizer based on corona discharge follow the recommended bipolar charge distribution, while soft X-ray-based charges may alter faster than expected. (c) The use of a positive high voltage supply show a 10% better performance than a negative one. (d) The intercomparison of the integral PNC of an MPSS against the total number concentration is still within the target uncertainty at an ambient pressure of approximately 500 hPa. Copyright © 2018 Published with license by American Association for Aerosol Research.
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    Number size distributions and seasonality of submicron particles in Europe 2008–2009
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Asmi, A.; Wiedensohler, A.; Laj, P.; Fjaeraa, A.-M.; Sellegri, K.; Birmili, W.; Weingartner, E.; Baltensperger, U.; Zdimal, V.; Zikova, N.; Putaud, J.-P.; Marinoni, A.; Tunved, P.; Hansson, H.-C.; Fiebig, M.; Kivekäs, N.; Lihavainen, H.; Asmi, E.; Ulevicius, V.; Aalto, P.P.; Swietlicki, E.; Kristensson, A.; Mihalopoulos, N.; Kalivitis, N.; Kalapov, I.; Kiss, G.; de Leeuw, G.; Henzing, B.; Harrison, R.M.; Beddows, D.; O'Dowd, C.; Jennings, S.G.; Flentje, H.; Weinhold, K.; Meinhardt, F.; Ries, L.; Kulmala, M.
    Two years of harmonized aerosol number size distribution data from 24 European field monitoring sites have been analysed. The results give a comprehensive overview of the European near surface aerosol particle number concentrations and number size distributions between 30 and 500 nm of dry particle diameter. Spatial and temporal distribution of aerosols in the particle sizes most important for climate applications are presented. We also analyse the annual, weekly and diurnal cycles of the aerosol number concentrations, provide log-normal fitting parameters for median number size distributions, and give guidance notes for data users. Emphasis is placed on the usability of results within the aerosol modelling community. We also show that the aerosol number concentrations of Aitken and accumulation mode particles (with 100 nm dry diameter as a cut-off between modes) are related, although there is significant variation in the ratios of the modal number concentrations. Different aerosol and station types are distinguished from this data and this methodology has potential for further categorization of stations aerosol number size distribution types. The European submicron aerosol was divided into characteristic types: Central European aerosol, characterized by single mode median size distributions, unimodal number concentration histograms and low variability in CCN-sized aerosol number concentrations; Nordic aerosol with low number concentrations, although showing pronounced seasonal variation of especially Aitken mode particles; Mountain sites (altitude over 1000 m a.s.l.) with a strong seasonal cycle in aerosol number concentrations, high variability, and very low median number concentrations. Southern and Western European regions had fewer stations, which decreases the regional coverage of these results. Aerosol number concentrations over the Britain and Ireland had very high variance and there are indications of mixed air masses from several source regions; the Mediterranean aerosol exhibit high seasonality, and a strong accumulation mode in the summer. The greatest concentrations were observed at the Ispra station in Northern Italy with high accumulation mode number concentrations in the winter. The aerosol number concentrations at the Arctic station Zeppelin in Ny-\AA lesund in Svalbard have also a strong seasonal cycle, with greater concentrations of accumulation mode particles in winter, and dominating summer Aitken mode indicating more recently formed particles. Observed particles did not show any statistically significant regional work-week or weekday related variation in number concentrations studied. Analysis products are made for open-access to the research community, available in a freely accessible internet site. The results give to the modelling community a reliable, easy-to-use and freely available comparison dataset of aerosol size distributions.
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    Black carbon emission and transport mechanisms to the free troposphere at the La Paz/El Alto (Bolivia) metropolitan area based on the Day of Census (2012)
    (Oxford [u.a.] : Elsevier, 2018) Wiedensohler, A.; Andrade, M.; Weinhold, K.; Müller, T.; Birmili, W.; Velarde, F.; Moreno, I.; Forno, R.; Sanchez, M.F.; Laj, P.; Ginot, P.; Whiteman, D.N.; Krejci, R.; Sellegri, K.; Reichler, T.
    Urban development, growing industrialization, and increasing demand for mobility have led to elevated levels of air pollution in many large cities in Latin America, where air quality standards and WHO guidelines are frequently exceeded. The conurbation of the metropolitan area of La Paz/El Alto is one of the fastest growing urban settlements in South America with the particularity of being located in a very complex terrain at a high altitude. As many large cities or metropolitan areas, the metropolitan area of La Paz/El Alto and the Altiplano region are facing air quality deterioration. Long-term measurement data of the equivalent black carbon (eBC) mass concentrations and particle number size distributions (PNSD) from the Global Atmosphere Watch Observatory Chacaltaya (CHC; 5240 m a.s.l., above sea level) indicated a systematic transport of particle matter from the metropolitan area of La Paz/El Alto to this high altitude station and subsequently to the lower free troposphere. To better understand the sources and the transport mechanisms, we conducted eBC and PNSDs measurements during an intensive campaign at two locations in the urban area of La Paz/El Alto from September to November 2012. While the airport of El Alto site (4040 m a.s.l.) can be seen as representative of the urban and Altiplano background, the road site located in Central La Paz (3590 m a.s.l.) is representative for heavy traffic-dominated conditions. Peaks of eBC mass concentrations up to 5 μg m−3 were observed at the El Alto background site in the early morning and evening, while minimum values were detected in the early afternoon, mainly due to thermal convection and change of the planetary boundary layer height. The traffic-related eBC mass concentrations at the road site reached maximum values of 10–20 μg m−3. A complete traffic ban on the specific Bolivian Day of Census (November 21, 2012) led to a decrease of eBC below 1 μg m−3 at the road site for the entire day. Compared to the day before and after, particle number concentrations decreased by a factor between 5 and 25 over the particle size range from 10 to 800 nm, while the submicrometer particle mass concentration dropped by approximately 80%. These results indicate that traffic is the dominating source of BC and particulate air pollution in the metropolitan area of La Paz/El Alto. In general, the diurnal cycle of eBC mass concentration at the Chacaltaya observatory is anti-correlated to the observations at the El Alto background site. This pattern indicates that the traffic-related particulate matter, including BC, is transported to higher altitudes with the developing of the boundary layer during daytime. The metropolitan area of La Paz/El Alto seems to be a significant source for BC of the regional lower free troposphere. From there, BC can be transported over long distances and exert impact on climate and composition of remote southern hemisphere.
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    Mobility particle size spectrometers: Harmonization of technical standards and data structure to facilitate high quality long-term observations of atmospheric particle number size distributions
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2012) Wiedensohler, A.; Birmili, W.; Nowak, A.; Sonntag, A.; Weinhold, K.; Merkel, M.; Wehner, B.; Tuch, T.; Pfeifer, S.; Fiebig, M.; Fjäraa, A.M.; Asmi, E.; Sellegri, K.; Depuy, R.; Venzac, H.; Villani, P.; Laj, P.; Aalto, P.; Ogren, J.A.; Swietlick, E.; Williams, P.; Roldin, P.; Quincey, P.; Hüglin, C.; Fierz-Schmidhauser, R.; Gysel, M.; Weingartner, E.; Riccobono, F.; Santos, S.; Grüning, C.; Faloon, K.; Beddows, D.; Harrison, R.; Monahan, C.; Jennings, S.G.; O'Dowd, C.D.; Marinoni, A.; Horn, H.-G.; Keck, L.; Jiang, J.; Scheckman, J.; McMurry, P.H.; Deng, Z.; Zhao, C.S.; Moerman, M.; Henzing, B.; de Leeuw, G.; Löschau, G.; Bastian, S.
    Mobility particle size spectrometers often referred to as DMPS (Differential Mobility Particle Sizers) or SMPS (Scanning Mobility Particle Sizers) have found a wide range of applications in atmospheric aerosol research. However, comparability of measurements conducted world-wide is hampered by lack of generally accepted technical standards and guidelines with respect to the instrumental set-up, measurement mode, data evaluation as well as quality control. Technical standards were developed for a minimum requirement of mobility size spectrometry to perform long-term atmospheric aerosol measurements. Technical recommendations include continuous monitoring of flow rates, temperature, pressure, and relative humidity for the sheath and sample air in the differential mobility analyzer. We compared commercial and custom-made inversion routines to calculate the particle number size distributions from the measured electrical mobility distribution. All inversion routines are comparable within few per cent uncertainty for a given set of raw data. Furthermore, this work summarizes the results from several instrument intercomparison workshops conducted within the European infrastructure project EUSAAR (European Supersites for Atmospheric Aerosol Research) and ACTRIS (Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure Network) to determine present uncertainties especially of custom-built mobility particle size spectrometers. Under controlled laboratory conditions, the particle number size distributions from 20 to 200 nm determined by mobility particle size spectrometers of different design are within an uncertainty range of around ±10% after correcting internal particle losses, while below and above this size range the discrepancies increased. For particles larger than 200 nm, the uncertainty range increased to 30%, which could not be explained. The network reference mobility spectrometers with identical design agreed within ±4% in the peak particle number concentration when all settings were done carefully. The consistency of these reference instruments to the total particle number concentration was demonstrated to be less than 5%. Additionally, a new data structure for particle number size distributions was introduced to store and disseminate the data at EMEP (European Monitoring and Evaluation Program). This structure contains three levels: raw data, processed data, and final particle size distributions. Importantly, we recommend reporting raw measurements including all relevant instrument parameters as well as a complete documentation on all data transformation and correction steps. These technical and data structure standards aim to enhance the quality of long-term size distribution measurements, their comparability between different networks and sites, and their transparency and traceability back to raw data.
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    Diurnal variations of ambient particulate wood burning emissions and their contribution to the concentration of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Seiffen, Germany
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Poulain, L.; Iinuma, Y.; Müller, K.; Birmili, W.; Weinhold, K.; Brüggemann, E.; Gnauk, T.; Hausmann, A.; Löschau, G.; Wiedensohler, A.; Herrmann, H.
    Residential wood burning is becoming an increasingly important cause of air quality problems since it has become a popular source of alternative energy to fossil fuel. In order to characterize the contribution of residential wood burning to local particle pollution, a field campaign was organized at the village of Seiffen (Saxony, Germany). During this campaign, an Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS) was deployed in parallel to a PM1 high volume filter sampler. The AMS mass spectra were analyzed using Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) to obtain detailed information about the organic aerosol (OA). Biomass-burning organic aerosol (BBOA), Hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol (HOA), and Oxygenated Organic Aerosol (OOA) were identified and represented 20%, 17% and 62% of total OA, respectively. Additionally, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) were measured by the AMS with an average concentration of 10 ng m−3 and short term events of extremely high PAH concentration (up to 500 ng m−3) compared to the mean PAH value were observed during the whole measurement period. A comparison with the results from PM1 filter samples showed that the BBOA factor and the AMS PAH are good indicators of the total concentration of the different monosaccharide anhydrides and PAH measured on the filter samples. Based on its low correlation with CO and the low car traffic, the HOA factor was considered to be related to residential heating using liquid fuel. An influence of the time of the week (week vs. weekend) on the diurnal profiles of the different OA components was observed. The weekdays were characterized by two maxima; a first one early in the morning and a stronger one in the evening. During the weekend days, the different OA components principally reached only one maximum in the afternoon. Finally, the PAH emitted directly from residential wood combustion was estimated to represent 1.5% of the total mass of the BBOA factor and around 62% of the total PAH concentration measured at Seiffen. This result highlights the important contribution of residential wood combustion to air quality and PAH emissions at the sampling place, which might have a significant impact on human health. Moreover, it also emphasizes the need for a better time resolution of the chemical characterization of toxic particulate compounds in order to provide more information on variations of the different sources through the days as well as to better estimate the real human exposure.
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    Seasonal and diurnal variations of particulate nitrate and organic matter at the IfT research station Melpitz
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Poulain, L.; Spindler, G.; Birmili, W.; Plass-Dülmer, C.; Weinhold, K.; Wiedensohler, A.; Herrmann, H.
    Ammonium nitrate and several organic compounds such as dicarboxylic acids (e.g. succinic acid, glutaric acid), some Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAHs) or some n-alkanes are semi-volatile. The transition of these compounds between the gas and particulate phase may significantly change the aerosol particles radiative properties, the heterogeneous chemical properties, and, naturally, the total particulate mass concentration. To better assess these time-dependent effects, three intensive field experiments were conducted in 2008–2009 at the Central European EMEP research station Melpitz (Germany) using an Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS). Data from all seasons highlight organic matter as being the most important particulate fraction of PM1 in summer (59%) while in winter, the nitrate fraction was more prevalent (34.4%). The diurnal variation of nitrate always showed the lowest concentration during the day while its concentration increased during the night. This night increase of nitrate concentration was higher in winter (ΔNO3− = 3.6 μg m−3) than in summer (ΔNO3− = 0.7 μg m−3). The variation in particulate nitrate was inherently linked to the gas-to-particle-phase equilibrium of ammonium nitrate and the dynamics of the atmosphere during day. The results of this study suggest that during summer nights, the condensation of HNO3 and NH3 on pre-existing particles represents the most prevalent source of nitrate, whereas during winter, nighttime chemistry is the predominant source of nitrate. During the summer 2008's campaign, a clear diurnal evolution in the oxidation state of the organic matter became evident (Organic Mass to Organic Carbon ratio (OM/OC) ranging from 1.65 during night to 1.80 during day and carbon oxidation state (OSc) from −0.66 to −0.4), which could be correlated to hydroxyl radical (OH) and ozone concentrations, indicating a photochemical transformation process. In summer, the organic particulate matter seemed to be heavily influenced by regional secondary formation and transformation processes, facilitated by photochemical production processes as well as a diurnal cycling of the substances between the gas and particulate phase. In winter, these processes were obviously less pronounced (OM/OC ranging from 1.60 to 1.67 and OSc from −0.8 to −0.7), so that organic matter apparently originated mainly from aged particles and long range transport.
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    Variability of black carbon mass concentrations, sub-micrometer particle number concentrations and size distributions: results of the German Ultrafine Aerosol Network ranging from city street to High Alpine locations
    (Amsterdam [u.a.] : Elsevier Science, 2018) Sun, J.; Birmili, W.; Hermann, M.; Tuch, T.; Weinhold, K.; Spindler, G.; Schladitz, A.; Bastian, S.; Löschau, G.; Cyrys, J.; Gu, J.; Flentje, H.; Briel, B.; Asbac, C.; Kaminski, H.; Ries, L.; Sohme, R.; Gerwig, H.; Wirtz, K.; Meinhardt, F.; Schwerin, A.; Bath, O.; Ma, N.; Wiedensohler, A.
    This work reports the first statistical analysis of multi-annual data on tropospheric aerosols from the German Ultrafine Aerosol Network (GUAN). Compared to other networks worldwide, GUAN with 17 measurement locations has the most sites equipped with particle number size distribution (PNSD) and equivalent black carbon (eBC) instruments and the most site categories in Germany ranging from city street/roadside to High Alpine. As we know, the variations of eBC and particle number concentration (PNC) are influenced by several factors such as source, transformation, transport and deposition. The dominant controlling factor for different pollutant parameters might be varied, leading to the different spatio-temporal variations among the measured parameters. Currently, a study of spatio-temporal variations of PNSD and eBC considering the influences of both site categories and spatial scale is still missing. Based on the multi-site dataset of GUAN, the goal of this study is to investigate how pollutant parameters may interfere with spatial characteristics and site categories. © 2019 The Authors
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    Comprehensive assessment of meteorological conditions and airflow connectivity during HCCT-2010
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Tilgner, A.; Schöne, L.; Bräuer, P.; van Pinxteren, D.; Hoffmann, E.; Spindler, G.; Styler, S.A.; Mertes, S.; Birmili, W.; Otto, R.; Merkel, M.; Weinhold, K.; Wiedensohler, A.; Deneke, H.; Schrödner, R.; Wolke, R.; Schneider, J.; Haunold, W.; Engel, A.; Wéber, A.; Herrmann, H.
    This study presents a comprehensive assessment of the meteorological conditions and atmospheric flow during the Lagrangian-type "Hill Cap Cloud Thuringia 2010" experiment (HCCT-2010), which was performed in September and October 2010 at Mt. Schmücke in the Thuringian Forest, Germany and which used observations at three measurement sites (upwind, in-cloud, and downwind) to study physical and chemical aerosol–cloud interactions. A Lagrangian-type hill cap cloud experiment requires not only suitable cloud conditions but also connected airflow conditions (i.e. representative air masses at the different measurement sites). The primary goal of the present study was to identify time periods during the 6-week duration of the experiment in which these conditions were fulfilled and therefore which are suitable for use in further data examinations. The following topics were studied in detail: (i) the general synoptic weather situations, including the mesoscale flow conditions, (ii) local meteorological conditions and (iii) local flow conditions. The latter were investigated by means of statistical analyses using best-available quasi-inert tracers, SF6 tracer experiments in the experiment area, and regional modelling. This study represents the first application of comprehensive analyses using statistical measures such as the coefficient of divergence (COD) and the cross-correlation in the context of a Lagrangian-type hill cap cloud experiment. This comprehensive examination of local flow connectivity yielded a total of 14 full-cloud events (FCEs), which are defined as periods during which all connected flow and cloud criteria for a suitable Lagrangian-type experiment were fulfilled, and 15 non-cloud events (NCEs), which are defined as periods with connected flow but no cloud at the summit site, and which can be used as reference cases. The overall evaluation of the identified FCEs provides the basis for subsequent investigations of the measured chemical and physical data during HCCT-2010 (see https://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/special_issue287.html).