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ANSTO scientists, who are experts in the monitoring of fine particle pollution, have developed a research instrument to measure the concentration of black carbon in the atmosphere and determine its source.
Black carbon is a key component of fine particle air pollution; its quantification will produce a better understanding of the role it plays in climate change.
Research - Scientist - Prof - David - Cohen
Distinguished Research Scientist Prof David Cohen said the Multi-wavelength absorption black carbon instrument (MABI), which was designed and built at ANSTO, can provide new information for environmental managers and researchers.
To date, 17 instruments have been shipped to a number of countries in Asia, Europe and Africa, including China, the Philippines, Morocco and Mongolia, for use and testing.
Aerosol - Filter - Samples - Particle - Pollution
Typical aerosol filter samples used for fine particle pollution monitoring can be loaded in the instrument for measurements.
One of the key features of the modular desktop technology is its ability to distinguish black carbon particles from two primary sources: diesel vehicles and biomass burning, such bushfires or crop burning regimes.
Instrument - Absorption - Wavelengths - Carbon - Particle
Because the instrument can measure light absorption at seven different wavelengths, it can distinguish different black carbon particle sizes and types.
"We know that particles from diesel sources which are formed at high temperatures tend to be small hard and spherical, whereas biomass particles, which are formed at lower temperatures are larger, more amorphous and have irregular shapes," said Cohen.
MABI - USB - Cable - Software - Record
MABI, which is powered from a simple USB cable has inbuilt software to record and export transmission data which can be converted to black carbon concentrations through standard equations.
The equation are provided and the users are able to measure their own black carbon mass absorption coefficients for each wavelength and for their own particular region and sampling site.
Calculation - Sampling - Site - Estimate - Carbon
"This ensures that the calculation is specific to their sampling site and a more accurate estimate of the black carbon content in their air," said...
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