The filter artifact is a significant source of error in gravimetric measurements of particulate matter (PM) exhaust. However, only a few studies on the subject exist. Results from these studies show a large discrepancy mainly because the experiments were performed using real diesel vehicle exhaust with varying exhaust composition. In this study, a setup for mixing diesel-like soot and hydrocarbon vapor was constructed for generating a stable exhaust aerosol with adjustable composition. The particle size distribution of the diesel-fueled soot generator (GMD [geometric mean diameter] adjustable between 27 and 164 nm) was found to represent “real” exhaust particulate emission. This setup was applied for studying the filter artifact on Teflon-coated glass fiber filters using pentadecane as the hydrocarbon vapor. Experiments were performed using particle and hydrocarbon concentrations of 130–700 μg/m3 and 10–12 ppm, respectively. It was found that the particle concentration of the aerosol affects the filter artifact. At lower particle concentrations, more hydrocarbon adsorption was detected. In the absence of particles, the adsorption was highest. Furthermore, filter soot load, corresponding to 0.13%–0.66% of the clean filter mass, was found to affect adsorption. Sooty filters adsorbed less vapor than clean filters. However, increasing the soot load resulted in more adsorption. Moreover, it was found that the backup filter serves as a reasonable estimate of the filter artifact only for low particle concentrations and filter soot loads. These results indicate that the filter soot load is an important parameter influencing the filter artifact, and therefore, it should be considered when performing gravimetric sampling. The setup was proven to be a unique tool for quantitative studies of the filter artifact.
Högström, R., Karjalainen, P., Yli-Ojanperä, J., Rostedt, A., Heinonen, M., Mäkelä, J. M., & Keskinen, J. (2012). Study of the PM gas-phase filter artifact using a setup for mixing diesel-like soot and hydrocarbons. Aerosol Science and Technology, 46(9), 1045-1052. https://doi.org/10.1080/02786826.2012.689118