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Uncertainty Associated with the Gravimetric Sampling of Particulate Matter

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  034116,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15041) @2003
Authors:   Jacqueline E. Price, Ronald E. Lacey
Keywords:   Uncertainty analysis, sensitivity analysis, air pollution, air quality, particulate matter, gravimetric sampling, systematic error, experimental uncertainty, emission abatement

Gravimetric measurement of particulate matter (PM) concentration in ambient environments is the basis for regulation of PM fractions (i.e. PM10 and PM2.5) under the Federal Clean Air Act. While the measurement is straight forward, there are numerous systematic errors that can enter the analysis that result in an unacceptably large error in the final concentration values. This paper discusses the importance of uncertainty approximation and analyzes the systematic errors inherent in a gravimetric measurement. Additionally, this paper explores a sensitivity analysis of the contributing errors in order to identify the most critical measurements and their implications on the calibration, operation, and design of PM samplers.

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