[Dust collection efficiency of commercial gas collection tubes]

Sangyo Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2022 Jul 25;64(4):186-197. doi: 10.1539/sangyoeisei.2020-047-B. Epub 2021 Oct 15.
[Article in Japanese]


Objectives: Gas sampling tubes are essential tools for the evaluation of air quality in work environments. It adsorbs toxic gaseous matters onto the surface of various granular adsorbents, such as silica gel or activated carbon packed in a thin glass tube, for quantitative analysis by gas chromatography. Currently, most of the semi-volatile matters are evaluated via aerosol filtration or solid-phase gas adsorption depending on the main phase of the substances; however, only a few substances have a sampling protocol regarding both solid and gaseous phases. Therefore, semi-volatile components evaluated by the solid-phase adsorption may result in the underestimation of the component concentrations due to particulate components passing through and remaining in the adsorbent. To highlight issues on sampling of semi-volatile matters by the solid-phase adsorption method, the collection efficiency of aerosol particles by 17 commercial gas sampling tubes were measured via pressure drop.

Methods: To measure the particle collection efficiency of the gas collection tubes, precise control and dilution of the aerosol particle monitors are essential. However, we cannot apply typical filter test methods at a lower filtration flow rate than that of the aerosol particles monitors. Therefore, we developed a new experimental method that considers flow adjustment between the aerosol monitors. By assuming two specific particle size distributions and five inlet conditions, the collection efficiencies of total mass particles are estimated. From the gas-particle partitioning ratio of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in a coal tar pitch manufacturing industry, the underestimation of the concentration of semi-volatile matters using the gas collection tubes has been discussed.

Results: The aerosol particles were collected in all kinds of layers in the gas sampling tubes, such as in the glass wool cap, gas adsorbent granular bed, and polyurethane foam. Furthermore, the collection efficiency curve of all 17 gas sampling tubes tested showed similar trends; a valley around particle sizes ranging from 0.2-0.3 μm between high collection zones below 0.1 μm and above 1 μm was observed. The observations suggested granular bed filters collection mechanisms such as inertial impaction, Brownian diffusion, gravity, and interception as same as air filters.

Conclusions: Solid-phase collection can underestimate the concentrations of multi-phase matters. Thus, we wish to highlight the importance of solid-phase collection methods along with filtration collection methods to collect all phases of semi-volatile matters.

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols / analysis
  • Coal / analysis
  • Dust* / analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Gases / analysis
  • Gases / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Particle Size
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons* / analysis


  • Aerosols
  • Coal
  • Dust
  • Gases
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons