Design, Development, Characterization, and Application of the DRI Model 2015 Multiwavelength Carbon Analyzer
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A multiwavelength thermal/optical carbon analyzer (DRI Model 2015) equipped with a novel seven-wavelength light source (405, 445, 532, 635, 780, 808, and 980 nm) was developed to analyze chemical and optical properties of carbonaceous particles collected on quartz-fiber filters. Built upon on the DRI Model 2001 carbon analyzer at 633 nm, major modifications were made to mechanical and electrical components, flow control, and the carbon detector to adopt modern technologies, increase instrument reliability, and reduce costs and maintenance. This instrument quantifies organic and elemental carbon (OC and EC, respectively) and their thermal fractions. It also allows estimation of the amount of brown and black carbon (BrC and BC, respectively) on filters. Continuous monitoring of the light reflected from and transmitted through the filter along with carbon evolved from the filter when heated to different temperatures under either inert or oxidizing gas environments provides insights into the optical properties of the carbon released from the filter; it also allows examination of the charring process as pyrolyzed char has been one of the major uncertainties in quantifying OC and EC. The objectives of this study are: 1) characterize the Model 2015’s performance parameters including detection limits, and optical behavior; 2) establish performance equivalence between the Model 2015 and Model 2001 DRI carbon analyzers when comparing similar laser wavelength to maintain consistency for long-term network sample analysis; and 3) conduct a preliminary analysis of the multiwavelength signal to estimate BrC and BC, and to optimize char correction. A selection of samples, including standard chemicals, as well as rural and urban ambient filter samples were measured by both the Model 2015 and Model 2001 analyzers. The design and construction experience will be discussed, as well as recommended future scientific research and engineering development.