Characterization of Airborne Nanoparticle Loss in Sampling Tubing

J Occup Environ Hyg. 2015;12(8):D161-7. doi: 10.1080/15459624.2015.1019077.


Airborne nanoparticle release has been studied extensively lately using a variety of instruments and nanoparticle loss data for the instrument sampling tubes were required. This study used real-time measurements to characterize particle losses. Particle concentrations were measured by Fast Mobility Particle Sizer (FMPS). Electrically conductive and Tygon sampling tubes 7.7 mm I.D. and 2.0, 4.9, 7.0, and 8.4 m long, were used to analyze particle losses. Two different sources of nearly steady-state particles-atmospheric nanoparticles (maximum concentration of 4,000-6,000 particle/cm(3)) and nebulizer-generated salt aerosols (maximum concentration of 14,000-16,000 particle/cm(3))-were utilized. For all test conditions, a reduction in particle number concentration was observed and found to be proportional to tube length for particle diameter (dp) less than 40 nm. A maximum loss up to 30% was found for the longest tube length (8.4 m) at particle size of approximately 8 nm. For particles from 40 to 400 nm, the losses were less than 3%. Measured particle losses were greater than predicted by theory for the smallest particles. The two types of tubing showed similar particle losses for both test aerosols. Particle losses were low for dp greater than 40 nm, and for all particle sizes when the tube length was less than 2 m.

Keywords: aerosol deposition; airborne nanoparticles; particle diffusion losses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring / instrumentation*
  • Nanoparticles / analysis*
  • Particle Size
  • Particulate Matter / analysis


  • Aerosols
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Particulate Matter