THERMO Electron, represented in Australia by Lear Siegler Australasia , has released the 5012 multi-angle absorption photometer (MAAP).
The instrument is designed for the measurement of black carbon in the atmosphere. It can operate automatically, continuously measuring black carbon and aerosol light absorption properties. Multiple detectors simultaneously measure transmitted and scattered light. Sample averaging times are user-selectable. Temperature and pressure correction is automatic. It comes with a data storage logbook.
Black carbon is a product of incomplete combustion. It comes from industrial pollution, traffic, fires, the burning of coal and biomass fuels. Unlike carbon dioxide emissions, which add to global warming by trapping heat in the atmosphere, soot emissions may contribute to global warming and climate change by absorbing sunlight, heating the air and making the atmosphere more unstable. The measurement of black carbon by optical means has typically meant the measure of the transmission of light through a filter as the black carbon was collected. This measurement is affected by reflection and the scattering of light in multiple directions due to particle size and shape. The 5012 MAAP measures atmospheric black carbon loading using a radiative transfer scheme to particle loaded glass fibre filters. The black carbon content of the aerosols are continuously determined by simultaneously measuring the optical absorption and scattering of light by the particles collected on the filter tape. The combination of these two techniques provides a much truer measurement of the black carbon content.