Instrumentation of a Thermal-Optical Carbon Analyzer and Its Sensitivity in Organic and Elemental Carbon Determination to Analysis Protocols

  • Lim, Ho-Jin (Department of Environmental Engineering, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Sung, Su-Hwan (Department of Chemical Engineering, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Yi, Sung-Sin (Department of Environmental Engineering, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Park, Jun-Hyun (Department of Environmental Engineering, Kyungpook National University)
  • Received : 2011.08.19
  • Accepted : 2011.12.15
  • Published : 2012.01.31


A thermal-optical transmittance carbon analyzer has been developed to determine particulate organic (OC) and elemental (EC) carbon. Several analysis factors affecting the sensitivity of OC and EC determination were investigated for the carbon analyzer. Although total carbon (TC) is usually consistent in the determination, OC and EC split is sensitive to adopted analysis protocol. In this study the maximum temperature in oxygen-free He in the analysis was examined as a main cause of the uncertainty. Prior to the sensitivity analysis consistency in OC-EC determination of the carbon analyzer and the uniformity of carbonaceous aerosol loading on a sampled filter were checked to be in acceptable range. EC/TC ratios were slightly decreased with increasing the maximum temperature between $550-800^{\circ}C$. For the increase of maximum temperature from $500^{\circ}C$ to $800^{\circ}C$, the EC/TC ratio was lowered by 4.65-5.61% for TC loading of 13-44 ${\mu}g/cm^2$ with more decrease at higher loading. OC and EC determination was not influenced by trace amount of oxygen in pure He (>99.999%), which is typically used in OC and EC analysis. The facing of sample loaded surface to incident laser beam showed negligible influence in the OC-EC split, but it caused elevated PC fraction in OC for forward facing relative to backward facing.


Organic carbon;Elemental carbon;Carbon analysis;Thermal-optical method;Aerosol;Particle


Supported by : Korea Research Foundation


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