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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19340

Title: Development and Application of a Flow-through Sampler for Semi-volatile Organic Compounds in Air
Authors: Xiao, Hang
Advisor: Wania, Frank
Department: Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
Keywords: Flow-Through Sampler
semi-volatile organic compounds
frontal chromatographic theory
air sampling
Tibet
breakthrough behavior
Issue Date: 18-Mar-2010
Abstract: The investigation of the atmospheric fate and transport of semi-volatile organic compounds (SOCs) often requires the sampling of large volumes of air (>100 m3) in a relatively short period of time. Conventionally high-volume pumps are not suitable for remote areas without access to reliable network power. We have developed a flow through sampler for such situations. It consists of a horizontally-oriented flow-tube, that can collect gaseous and particle-bound SOCs from large volumes of air by turning into the wind and having the wind blow through a porous sampling medium such as polyurethane foam. Through both indoor and outdoor experiments, we quantified its air sampling rate (through battery operated anemometers inside and outside of the flow tube), its sampling efficiency (by theoretical plate number analysis of the break-though curves for PCBs, PAHs, OCPs and PBDEs), and its accuracy (by comparison of concentrations, time trends, temperature dependences and isomer ratios with those obtained by conventional high-volume sampling) under conditions of constant and variable meteorological conditions (wind speed, temperature). The flow-through sampler was deployed to monitor SOC concentrations at a remote Chinese research station located close to Nam Co Lake, Tibet. During the campaign, fifteen 1 month-long samples were taken, corresponding to sample volumes between 5,000 and 20,000 m3. Despite those large sample volumes, only HCB and HCHs experienced break-through, but application of frontal chromatograph theory allows the estimation of breakthrough-corrected air concentrations even for those relatively volatile SOCs. The pesticide levels at Nam Co are generally very low. Most pesticides had higher levels during summer, resulting in a strong temperature dependence. This is correlated with air mass origin across the Himalayas in the Gangetic plains of India and Bangladesh. The flow through sampler constitutes a feasible method for reliably and quantitatively collecting SOCs from large air volumes.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19340
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry - Doctoral theses

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