A comparison of four gravimetric fine particle sampling methods

Jeff D. Yanosky, David L. MacIntosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


A study was conducted to compare four gravimetric methods of measuring fine particle (PM2.5) concentrations in air: the BGI, Inc. PQ200 Federal Reference Method PM2.5 (FRM) sampler; the Harvard-Marple Impactor (HI); the BGI, Inc. GK2.05 KTL Respirable/Thoracic Cyclone (KTL); and the AirMetrics MiniVol (MiniVol). Pairs of FRM, HI, and KTL samplers and one MiniVol sampler were collocated and 24-hr integrated PM2.5 samples were collected on 21 days from January 6 through April 9, 2000. The mean and standard deviation of PM2.5 levels from the FRM samplers were 13.6 and 6.8 μg/m3, respectively. Significant systematic bias was found between mean concentrations from the FRM and the MiniVol (1.14 μg/m3, p = 0.0007), the HI and the MiniVol (0.85 μg/m3, p = 0.0048), and the KTL and the MiniVol (1.23 μg/m3, p = 0.0078) according to paired t test analyses. Linear regression on all pairwise combinations of the sampler types was used to evaluate measurements made by the samplers. None of the regression intercepts was significantly different from 0, and only two of the regression slopes were significantly different from 1, that for the FRM and the MiniVol [β1 = 0.91, 95% CI (0.83-0.99)] and that for the KTL and the MiniVol [β1 = 0.88, 95% CI (0.78-0.98)]. Regression R2 terms were 0.96 or greater between all pairs of samplers, and regression root mean square error terms (RMSE) were 1.65 μg/m3 or less. These results suggest that the MiniVol will underestimate measurements made by the FRM, the HI, and the KTL by an amount proportional to PM2.5 concentration. Nonetheless, these results indicate that all of the sampler types are comparable if ∼10% variation on the mean levels and on individual measurement levels is considered acceptable and the actual concentration is within the range of this study (5-35 μg/m3).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)878-884
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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