Special Session: Optical Properties of Atmospheric Aerosol ― Observation, Measurement Techniques and Model Analysis for Improving the Accuracy of Aerosol Light Absorption Determinations in Polluted Sites Screen reader support enabled.

Gang Zhao This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Yingli Yu1, Ping Tian2, Jing Li1, Song Guo3, Chunsheng Zhao1

Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Beijing Key Laboratory of Cloud, Precipitation and Atmospheric Water Resources, Beijing 100089, China
College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China


Received: November 22, 2019
Revised: February 4, 2020
Accepted: April 2, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.10.0500 

Cite this article:

Zhao, G., Yu, Y., Tian, P., Li, J., Guo, S. and Zhao, C. (2020). Evaluation and Correction of the Ambient Pparticle Sectral Light Absorption Measured Using a Filter-based Aethalometer. Aerosol Air Qual. Res., https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.10.0500


  • A multiple-scattering compensation factor of 2.90 is recommended in Eastern China.
  • The absorption coefficient with tape 8060 is more consistent than that with tape 8050.
  • A novel method is proposed to correct the data measured using AE33 with tape 8050.


Spectral light-absorption properties measured using an aethalometer (AE, model AE33) are widely used for radiative forcing studies and source appointment tracing in China. However, considerable uncertainty regarding the measured absorption coefficient (σ_abs) exists because of the multiple scattering effects, loading effects, and filter tapes. In this study, evaluation of the σ_abs was conducted by comparing the σ_abs measured using an AE33 with tape 8050, an AE33 with tape 8060 (the material of tape 8060 is different from tape 8050) , and a three-wavelength photoacoustic soot spectrometer (PASS-3) during two field campaigns in Eastern China. Results indicated that the σ_abs measured by the AE33 for both tapes was approximately three-times larger than that measured by the PASS-3, mainly because of the multiple-scattering effect. Wavelength-independent multiple-scattering compensation factor (2.90), which varies slightly (±0.04) in Eastern China, was recommended for use over these regions. The σ_abs measured by the AE33 using tape 8050 was highly dependent on loading on the filter tape, which led to significant uncertainty and discontinuity of the absorption Ångström exponent when compared with tape 8060. A method was proposed to effectively correct the historical datasets of σ_abs and the absorption Ångström exponent by using the AE33 with tape 8050. This work provides insight into the data quality of measured absorption when filter-based measurement technology is used.

Keywords: Black carbon; Absorption; Multiple-scattering compensation; Loading effects.

Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20:-. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.10.0500 

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