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Real-time Measurements of Particle Geometric Surface Area by the Weighted Sum Method on a University Campus

Category: Aerosol Physics and Instrumentation

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DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2019.12.0621

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To cite this article:
Cao, L.N. and Pui, D.Y. (2020). Real-time Measurements of Particle Geometric Surface Area by the Weighted Sum Method on a University Campus. Aerosol Air Qual. Res., doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2019.12.0621.

Leo N.Y. Cao 1, David Y.H. Pui2

  • 1 Division of Complex Drug Analysis, US Food and Drug Administration, St. Louis, MO 63101, USA
  • 2 Particle Technology Laboratory, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA


  • Various online measurements of particle GSA on a university campus were conducted.
  • Events included laser printing, 3D printing, machining, and the ambient environment.
  • Overall Pearson correlation coefficient is 0.85 for the agreement of WS and SMPS.
  • The study offered a GSA concentration reference for future studies.


The paper reports the field measurements of the particle geometric surface area (GSA) and number concentrations on a university campus by two real-time approaches: the weighted sum (WS) method and scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS). The field measurements included 4 objects: laser printing, 3D printing, machining (waterjet cutting, sanding, and welding), and environmental aerosols. The 3D printing and welding had the highest emission, where the concentration for 3D printing was measured in the printer’s enclosure and welding was measured with local exhaust ventilation on. In general, both methods agreed well with each other with an overall Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.85, although the concentrations changed constantly in a wide range from 20 to 4x104 μm2/cm3. Since the GSA concentrations were measured for the first time in some scenarios, the data from this study can serve as a reference for further research and provide a reference for individuals in the vicinity of the emission.


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