Results are reported from a field calibration of the polyurethane foam (PUF) disk passive air sampler for measuring polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) in the atmosphere of the Alberta oil sands region of Canada. Passive samplers were co-deployed alongside conventional high volume samplers at three sites. The results demonstrate the ability of the PUF disk sampler to capture PACs, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), alkylated PAHs and parent and alkylated dibenzothiophenes. Both gas- and particle-phase PACs were captured with an average sampling rate of approximately 5m3day-1, similar to what has been previously observed for other semivolatile compounds. This is the first application of the PUF disk sampler for alkylated PAHs and dibenzothiophenes in air. The derived sampling rates are combined with estimates of the equilibrium partitioning of the PACs in the PUF disk samplers to estimate effective sample air volumes for all targeted PACs. This information is then applied to the passive sampling results from two deployments across 17 sites in the region to generate spatial maps of PACs. The successful calibration of the sampler and development of the methodology for deriving air concentrations lends support to the application of this cost-effective and simple sampler in longer term studies of PACs in the oil sands region. © 2013 [Author/Employing Institution].
Harner, T., Su, K., Genualdi, S., Karpowicz, J., Ahrens, L., Mihele, C., … Narayan, J. (2013). Calibration and application of PUF disk passive air samplers for tracking polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs). Atmospheric Environment, 75, 123–128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.04.012