BLACK CARBON (SOOT) EMISSIONS ARE CHANGING OUR CLIMATE AND AFFECTING OUR HEALTH
These tiny black particles absorb heat from the sun warming their surroundings. They are also implicated in adverse health effects as they can be breathed deeply into the lungs and can contain materials that are carcinogenic. Black Carbon or soot is part of PM10 and PM2.5 which are regulated but we believe that soot itself should be regulated by the EU.
Black carbon is released into the air by diesel engines, and also when we burn solid fuels such as coal and wood. Dark materials absorb more energy than lighter ones, and black carbon released into the air is accelerating changes to our planet’s climate.
The good news is that we can do something about black carbon pollution. Filter technology is widely available that can remove much of the black carbon from vehicle exhaust and chimneys. Old, dirty vehicles and appliances can also be replaced by newer ones using cleaner fuels.
Read article by our Managing Director on Black Carbon Monitoring and Standards HERE
CARBOTRAF - FP7 Funded Project for Reducing Soot from Traffic
Black Carbon Monitors
Aethalometers Optical Black Carbon Monitors
Our range of Black Carbon (Soot) Monitors provides the widest choice of technologies for continuous, portable and personal monitoring of black carbon concentrations in air.
Magee Scientific manufactures a range of network ready Aethalometers for the continuous monitoring of black carbon. The instruments provide the additonal feature of multi wavelength detection providing information about organic material associated with the carbon particles such as PAH's dioxins and furans. This can help identify the source of the carbon as diesel, wood smoke, etc. The Aethalometer Models are AE22 (two wavelength), AE33 (seven wavelength).
We also supply a portable version Model AE42 which is ideal for making measurements on the move or in confined spaces.
A laboratory based version (Transmissometer) provides the ability to measure soot on 47mm, 37mm and 25mm filters.
Aethlabs Inc manufacture a personal version of the Aethalometer which makes exposure monitoring and vertical profiling possible. The AE 51 provides BC monitoring at a single wavelength in a small handheld unit about the size of a smart phone that can be worn on the body and runs from internal batteries for up to 24 hours.
You can find out more about all of the above instruments by clicking on the tabs below.
The Aethalometer® is an instrument that uses optical analysis to determine the mass concentration of Black Carbon particles collected from an air stream passing through a filter. These particles are directly emitted to the air during all combustion, but are primarly associated with coal or diesel smoke. They adversely affect public health; contribute to local and global climate change; and reduce visibility. Aethalometers are used by air-quality monitoring programs; public-health protection agencies; research laboratories; and community groups.
Aethalometer data contribute to an understanding of the composition and sources of air-pollution particles; the effects of poor air quality on public health; and the effects on local weather and global climate change.
The Aethalometer technology is available on different chassis and platforms: Rack Mount, Portable, Modular, High Range, and Transmissometer. The Aethalometer is also offered in two configurations of light analysis: 2-Wavelength (infra-red 880 nm for Black Carbon; ultraviolet 370 nm for aromatic organic compounds) and 7-Wavelength (7 sources from 370 nm to 950 nm). The model pictured above is the AE33 Seven wavelength network ready unit for unattended continuous operation. It has a unique dual spot configuration that compensates for filter loading effect ensuring accurate realtime data.
The Aethalometer® is the most widely used instrument for the Real-Time Measurement of Aerosol Black Carbon ('BC' or 'EC'). The Aethalometer is fully automatic and completely self-contained and has been used by scientists for more than 15 years on all 7 continents
The Portable Aethalometer® is a compact version of the standard Aethalometer® that includes an internal battery for mobile use. Like the standard Aethalometer, the portable is fully automatic and completely self-contained.
The Portable Aethalometer® Model AE42 measures light absorption by suspended aerosol particles at two wavelengths: 880 nm (IR), quantitative for the mass of ‘Black’ Carbon; and 370 nm (UV), indicating aromatic organic compounds. The instrument’s analytical performance is identical to the Rack Mount Aethalometer® Model AE22, but it is constructed in a small portable case with an internal battery providing several hours of mobile operation. The Portable Aethalometer can also be operated from an AC transformer or by cables from an external battery or automobile power outlet. This instrument is widely used for studying indoor air quality, and for the mobile mapping of the air quality impacts of localized sources.
The Portable Aethalometer may also be supplied with 7 wavelength light sources upon request.
The microAeth® Model AE51 is the world's first ever real-time, pocket-sized Black Carbon aerosol monitor. This palm-size instrument is small enough to be worn by a person in order to measure the real-time concentration of black carbon which a person may be exposed to.
The microAeth incorporates the same Aethalometer®measurement technology which has been used worldwide for over 25 years, all in a package that can fit in your pocket.
The instrument can operate continuously for up to 24 hours on a single battery charge and can be externally powered by the included wall power adapter, or an additional external battery option for longer run times. The air sample is collected on T60 (Teflon coated glass fiber) filter media, and analyzed in real time. The filter media is housed in an easy to replace filter strip for simple handling in the field.
The microAeth has been used to take measurements of cookstoves, tobacco smoke exposure as well as on planes, trains, bicycles, even on weather balloons measuring vertical profiles of Black Carbon in the atmosphere. This versatile instrument can be used to easily measure Black Carbon.
The SootScan™ Model OT21 Transmissometer bench top analyzer has been developed as a simple and robust way of assessing Black Carbon particulate matter (PM) from a variety of sample filters. The analysis can be easily performed in the field or the laboratory, and requires less than thirty seconds to provide optical attenuation and BC mass concentration results. This non-destructive analysis method requires no support gases or consumables. A neutral density photometric standard filter kit is available for verifying instrument calibration and validating the instrument response.
The SootScan™ is designed to analyze filters for Black Carbon content which are collected from both ambient and source applications. Since the method does not alter or destroy the sample during analysis, the OT21 method can be used to quickly determine BC from samples collected specifically for US EPA PM-2.5 Federal Reference Method (FRM), Method 5 / 201A stationary source, and mobile source compliance determination. Importantly, because Black Carbon PM is non-volatile, sample analysis can be performed on archived filters as well as freshly collected ones.
The instrument contains a 2 wavelength light source; 880nm providing the quantitative measurement of Black Carbon PM, and a 370nm for qualitative assessment of certain aromatic organic compounds. This 2 wavelength approach provides additional information which would be important for two main reasons: determining source apportionment of ambient PM samples (i.e. wood smoke vs. diesel PM) OR the health status of a diesel engine (i.e. blue smoke = leaky seal, black smoke = poor combustion efficiency)
The instrument is designed to directly accept 25, 37, or 47mm diameter filters comprised of Teflon, quartz fiber, glass fiber, or Teflon-coated glass fiber media. Alternative filter diameters can also be assessed by analyzing a "punch" of a larger sample (i.e. 8 x 10" high volume filter or 70mm or larger source sample filter).
An OCR digital imaging device / barcode scanner option is available for convenient data logging and sample chain of custody information transfer. Analysis results are displayed on the instrument's LCD screen and using the PC Interface Software included with the instrument, measurement data can be communicated electronically from the OT21 to a personal computer through a serial data connection.
Data transmitted to a connected PC is output in a .csv compatible format that is easy to import and manage in a spreadsheet application.
The measurement of BC by optical means has typically meant the measure of the transmission of light through a filter as the BC was collected. This measurement is affected by reflection and the scattering of light in multiple directions due to particle size and shape.
Black carbon content of aerosols is continuously determined by simultaneous measurement of optical absorption and scattering of light by the particles collected on the filter tape. A combination of techniques provides a much truer measurement of black carbon content.
Automatic operation & continuous measurement of black carbon and aerosol light absorption properties
Multiple detectors to simultaneously measure transmitted and scattered light
Control and data exchange over two serial interfaces
User-selectable sample averaging times
Automatic temperature and pressure correction
Internal quality assurance and data storage log book
Minimum Detection Limit: 2 min. average is <100ng/m3, <0.66M/m Babs; 10 min. average is <50ng/m3, <0.33M/m Babs; 30 min. average is <100ng/m3, <0.66M/m Babs
Filter Change: At 20% transmission (approximately 30µg)
Active Measurement Time: >98%
Air Flow Regulation: Deviation <1% (PID type)
Filter Tape: Glass fiber, type GF 10, approximately 40m