Near Reference PM & Black Carbon Monitoring

A wide range of “near-reference” and lower cost particulate monitors have become available in recent years.

While these instruments don’t meet the statistical certainty threshold to be considered “comparable” to reference analysers they have transformed the management of PM issues for industrial, commercial and urban focused clients. They may be designed to a be portable and operate outside, unattended for long periods of time, at an avoidable price point.

Selecting the right instrument, with the correct level of accuracy, precision, service cost and durability, and appropriately configured for the application is key to success.

Mote has many years of experience operating nephelometer instruments measuring PM10 continuously: from the Australian outback, where the units are subjected to extreme heat (>55 degrees Celsius) and hurricane strength winds in excess of 200 km/hr, to cold South Island, NZ coal mines, to urban/rural network instruments. The nephelometers have been selected for being rugged and reliable, and demonstrated to consistently produce comparable data to co-located equivalent analysers.

Black carbon (BC) monitoring

Black Carbon (BC) monitoring is becoming an ever increasing pollutant of interest in urban centres, especially those with a heavy diesel vehicle presence where BC can comprise up to 50% of total PM2.5 mass.

Mote Ltd operates several 7-wavelength aethelometers to quantify black carbon concentrations across a range of light absorption bands, from 370 – 990 nanometres. These instruments help scientists and researchers understand the makeup of particulate matter source composition without the need for expensive filter analyses in a lab.

Black carbon at 880 nm typically correlates well with ultrafine particles (< 100 nm), which are of key interest to health and epidemiological research due to the ability to penetrate deep in the lungs and cross the blood-brain barrier. In 2019 Mote is teaming up with Queensland University of Technology (QuT) to embark on Australasia’s largest ever urban ultra-fines and black carbon study. It will provide the region’s first multi-city long-term record of ultrafine particle and BC concentrations in order to properly assess whether there is a potential issue on an annual basis.