Question: Can we add a 2um filter to the bucket monitor to capture particulates?

kgradow1 is asking a question about air-quality
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by kgradow1 | May 20, 2020 13:37 | #23673

This question was asked by @mimiss during this week's Open Hour.

The bucket monitor is used to sample chemicals in the air including VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and sulfur compounds. Buckets are similar to Summa canisters, which capture 30-hour samples in a polished container. Summa canisters come with a 2um filter that is built into the flow controller to prevent contamination of the intake valve. This is a two-part question:

  • Can this be added to the bucket valve?
  • Can the filter be analyzed independently to get a snapshot of particulate matter?


@mimiss: I think the answer to the first question is probably yes! The bucket uses a Swagelok adapter, similar to the Summa canisters, and it looks like the filter just fits into that adapter. If these are standard filters, we can order them and try it out later this month.

I wonder how easy the filters are to remove from the adapters after filling the bags? If we can see it on a microscope, those filters tend to look like very small grids, it might be possible to count a piece of this grid and approximate # of particles or if there would be so many it's not possible.

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It seems like a big hassle to 1) regulate the airflow over 24 hours 2) confirm! that you have regulated the airflow. This is most of what the MiniVol Does, assure you that the airflow is regulated. collecting the sample is the easy part. Standardizing the sample so you know what it means in context, harder.

but, if you just want to do presence /absence--Like, the coal pile company is denying that coal is making a substantial contribution to PM (vs diesel, they always will say it's diesel or car exhaust), this could be useful to get a sample, then have it tested by XRF to show %coal (or other pollutant, like grain)

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