Simply scan - Optical methods for elemental carbon measurement in diesel exhaust particulate

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This article describes a performance assessment of three optical methods, a Magee Scientific OT21 Transmissometer, a Hach-Lange Microcolor II difference gloss meter, and a combination of an office scanner with Adobe Photoshop software. The optical methods measure filter staining as a proxy for elemental carbon in diesel exhaust particulate (DEP) exposure assessment and the suitability of each as a replacement for the existing Bosch meter optical method. Filters loaded with DEP were produced from air in a non-coal mine and the exhaust gases from a mobile crane. These were measured with each apparatus and then by combustion to obtain a reference elemental carbon value. The results from each apparatus were then plotted against both the Bosch number and reference elemental carbon values. The equations of the best fit lines for these plots were derived, and these gave functions for elemental carbon and Bosch number from the output of each new optical method. For each optical method, the range of DEP loadings which can be measured has been determined, and conversion equations for elemental carbon and Bosch number have been obtained. All three optical methods studied will effectively quantify blackness as a measure of elemental carbon. Of these the Magee Scientific OT21 transmissometer has the best performance. The Microcolor II and scanner/photoshop methods will in addition allow conversion to Bosch number which may be useful if historical Bosch data are available and functions for this are described. The scanner/photoshop method demonstrates a technique to obtain measurements of DEP exposure without the need to purchase specialized instrumentation.




Forder, J. A. (2014). Simply scan - Optical methods for elemental carbon measurement in diesel exhaust particulate. Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 58(7), 889–898.

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