Revisiting the size selective performance of EPA's high-volume total suspended particulate matter (Hi-Vol TSP) sampler

Under the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for airborne lead, measurements are conducted by means of a high-volume total suspended particulate matter (Hi-Vol TSP) sampler. In the decade between 1973 and 1983, there were 12 publications that explored the sampling characteristics and effectiveness of the Hi-Vol TSP, yet there persists uncertainty regarding its performance. This article presents an overview of the existing literature on the performance of the Hi-Vol TSP, and identifies the reported sampler effectiveness with respect to four factors: particle size (reported effectiveness of 7%–100%), wind speed (−36% to 100%), sampler orientation (7%–100%), and operational state (107%–140%). Effectiveness of the Hi-Vol TSP was evaluated with a solid, polydisperse aerosol in a controlled wind tunnel setting. Isokinetic samplers were deployed alongside the Hi-Vol TSP to investigate three wind speeds (2, 8, and 24 km h−1), three sampler orientations (0°, 45°, 90°), and two operational states (on, off) for aerosols with aerodynamic diameters from 5 to 35 µm. Results indicate that particle diameter was the largest determining factor of effectiveness followed by wind speed. Orientation of the sampler did not have a significant effect at 2 and 8 km h−1 but did at 24 km h−1. In a passive state, the Hi-Vol TSP was collected between 1% and 7% of available aerosol depending on particle size and wind speed. Results of this research do not invalidate results of previous studies but rather contribute to our overall understanding of the Hi-Vol TSP's size-selective performance. While results generally agreed with previous studies, the Hi-Vol TSP was found to exhibit less dependence on these four factors than previously reported.

© 2017 American Association for Aerosol Research