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Real-time measurement of black carbon

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THE new Aethalometer by Magee Scientific, available from Ecotech , is an instrument that measures suspended carbonaceous particulates. Aerosol black carbon (BC, or EC for elemental carbon) is a component of combustion emissions.

It is most obvious in diesel exhaust, but it is emitted from all combustion sources together with other species such as toxic and carcinogenic organic compounds, and it can be found everywhere.

The Aethalometer is an instrument that uses a continuous filtration and optical transmission technique to measure the concentration of BC in near-real-time. It is fully automatic and completely self-contained.

It operates automatically upon power-up and can be left unattended for long periods of time. It includes the filtration and analysis chamber with automatically-advancing quartz fibre tape; the sample aspiration pump and air mass flow meter (typical flowrates are 2 to 6Lpm); and temperature-stabilised optics and electronics.

The instrument is operated by an embedded computer with display screen and keypad that controls all instrument functions and records the data.

Both the 19-inch rack mount and the 'portable' Aethalometers can be offered with different specifications of optical analysis wavelengths; the instruments are otherwise identical in terms of mechanical, electrical, and aerosol handling features.

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