Detecting Metals in Ambinet Particulate Matter: X-Ray Fluorescdence Analysis of High Volume Impaction Deposits

Award Information
Environmental Protection Agency
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Rupprecht& Patashnick Co., Inc.
26 Tech Valley Dr,, East Greenbush, NY, 12061
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Thomas Hope
Project Engineer
(518) 432-0065
Business Contact:
Harvey Patashnick
(518) 452-0065
Research Institution:
The design, construction and feasibility testing of X-ray fluorescence (XRF) based instrumentation capable of detecting the presence of atomic species within ambient particulate mater (PM) on near real time basis has been successful completed. The XRF analysis is made feasible for hourly ambient PM samples through the implementation of novel high volume flow impaction and post-impaction concentration techniques. A preliminary study of the first generation base system¿s level of detection (LOD) for various elemental species was completed for Cr, Mn, Ni, Zn, Cd, Ba, Hg, and Pb. The first generation base system proved capable of measuring ambient PM trace element composition at of near level expected in urban air samples for one-hour duration samples. Only 10% of possible X-ray exposure time was utilized in the measurement process. The measurement system will benefit from further reduction of element specific LOD¿s through increased exposure time, increased collection time, improved collection techniques, primary X-ray filtering and/or employing the use variable excitation energy to the X-ray generation tube when required. A study of ambient PM collected in the Albany, NY, area during the Summer of 2004 showed that the first generation system was capable of detecting Fe, Ca, and S in hour duration samples collected during very low ambient PM 2.5 conditions (<100ug/m3). Additionally, several signal-to-noise improvement techniques were investigated in Phase I. The ultimate goal of Phase II of the project is to produce a ¿Beta¿ instrument capable of providing reliable, quantitative measurements of ambient PM elemental composition on an hourly basis. The system is integrated in a package whose size, weight and power consumption compare favorably with continuous gaseous and particle instrumentation currently deployed in air quality monitoring networks. The initial commercial use of the new monitor in the U.S. and internationally is projected to be for time-resolved ambient PM atomic speciation measurements by air monitoring agencies in urban areas, at locations affects by significant point sources, along traffic corridors, and by scientists for epidemiological studies and receptor modeling. State and local air monitoring agencies will require detailed information on PM and its sources to determine the best means to achieving USEPA-mandated state implementation plans to pin-point the sources of pollution through ¿fingerprinting¿ at hot spots. The monitor can also be used to gauge the before-and-after effect of changes in regulations such as the use of new fuels or after-treatment devices in mobile sources, and of new urban of industrial development.

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