Publication details

Field- and model-based calibration of polyurethane foam passive air samplers in different climate regions highlights differences in sampler uptake performance

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BOHLIN Sara Pernilla MELYMUK Lisa Emily WHITE Kevin Bradley KALINA Jiří MADADI Vincent O. ADU-KUMI Sam PROKEŠ Roman PŘIBYLOVÁ Petra KLÁNOVÁ Jana

Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Atmospheric Environment
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Passive air sampling; Polyurethane foam; Sampling rates; Persistent organic pollutants; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
Description Polyurethane foam (PUF) passive air samplers (PAS) are widely used for measurements of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and other semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in large-scale monitoring networks as well as in case studies around the globe. Calibration of PUF-PAS is performed by field-based calibration studies or passive sampler uptake models. Both are typically performed and/or validated in temperate zones, however the sampling rates are more widely applied, including in tropical and polar zones. Here, we present field-based calibration results for MONET PUF-PAS from a subtropical and tropical site (Nairobi, Kenya and Accra, Ghana) based on side-by-side deployment of PUF-PAS and active air samplers (AAS), as well as model PAS uptake from available passive sampler uptake models. By comparing these results with a similar calibration from a temperate site (Brno, Czech Republic), we show that higher ambient temperatures result in higher effective sampling rates for intermediate molecular weight SVOCs (logK(OA) of 7-11) as a result of lower particle-bound fractions, and in lower sample volumes for lighter SVOCs (logK(OA)<7) as a result of a shorter time to equilibrium. This highlights the importance of adjusting passive sampling rates according to site-specific air temperatures. Model-based calibrations provided sampling volumes in agreement with the field-based calibration except for high K-OA compounds, but the source of the discrepancy appears to be the model parameterization of the specific PUF-PAS sampler type rather than temperature-induced differences. Overall, the results suggest that while careful consideration should be taken when extrapolating calibration information from temperate to tropical zones, field or model-based calibrations are appropriate, and greater attention should be given to ensuring passive sampler models are correctly parameterized for the sampling configuration used.
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