The AQRC Sample Handling Lab serving IMPROVE network has been equipped with a benchtop MTL environmentally controlled weighing chamber that provides compliant environment (Quality Assurance Guidance Document 2.12) for ambient air quality research. Air velocities, temperature, dew point, and airborne particle counts are controlled and below their regulatory thresholds.
Rotating Drum Impactor (RDI) samplers collect size-segregated aerosols on 8 stages with 0.4 – 4.8 hour time resolution. Analysis of RDI samples using X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) technology provides quantitative elemental data of 28 elements.
Since 1994, the researchers at Air Quality Research Center are measuring the light absorption by particles collected on filters for IMPROVE network. This measurement has been conducted on developed in house instrument called HIPS (Hybrid Integrating Plate and Sphere system) operating at a single wavelength using red light of 633 nm from a He(Ne) laser.
Our laboratory is equipped with two Mettler Toledo XP-6 microbalances and one Mettler Toledo XP2U ultrabalance. The maximum weight capacity of the XP-6 is 6 g, although most of our filters weigh around 50 mg. The quoted readability of XP-6 balance is 0.001 mg. The Gravimetric Mass Sampling is completed in the Sample Handling Lab by AQRC staff. Samples are measured during the pre-processing and post-processing where they are then sent for analysis.
The AQRC Quartz Carbon Lab is equipped with the top-notch OCEC instruments for Thermal/Optical Analysis (TOA). Our scientists and technicians can analyze particulate matters collected on quartz-fiber filters for organic carbon, elemental carbon, carbonate carbon, and total carbon using a variety of applications.
The AQRC measures the concentrations of chemical elements in samples using energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (XRF). We specialize in measuring airborne particulate matter sampled on filters but can also analyze liquid, solid or powder samples.
Our laboratory is equipped with four PANalytical Epsilon 5 XRF analyzers. Each analyzer can be programmed to use up to 15 secondary excitation targets, allowing the analysis to be customized to provide optimal sensitivity for the elements of interest with comprehensive coverage of the periodic table.