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The nitric acid shootout: Field comparison of measurement methods

Hering, S. V. and Cass, G. R. and Solomon, P. A. (1988) The nitric acid shootout: Field comparison of measurement methods. Atmospheric Environment, 22 (8). pp. 1519-1539. ISSN 0004-6981. doi:10.1016/0004-6981(88)90379-4.

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Eighteen instruments for measuring atmospheric concentrations of nitric acid were compared in an eight day field study at Pomona College, situated in the eastern portion of the Los Angeles Basin, in September 1985. The study design included collocated and separated duplicate samplers, and the analysis by each laboratory of a set of quality assurance filters, so that the experimental variability could be distinguished from differences due to measurement methods. For all sampling periods, the values for nitric acid concentrations reported by the different instruments vary by as much as a factor of four. The differences among measurement techniques increase with nitric acid loading, corresponding to a coefficient of variation of 40%. In contrast, samplers of the same design operated by the same group show variability of 11–27 %. Overall, the highest reported concentrations are observed with the filter packs and lower concentrations are observed by the annular denuders and tunable diode laser absorption spectrometers. When the nitric acid concentrations are high enough to be detected by the FTIR, the FTIR values are close to those obtained by the denuder difference method and to the mean value from the other sampler groups. In the absence of a reference standard for the entire study, measurement methods are compared to the average of four denuder difference method samplers (DDM). Filter pack samplers are higher than the DDM for both daytime and night-time sampling. Two different filter packs using Teflon® prefilters are higher than the DDM by factors of 1.25 and 1.4. The results from the three annular denuders do not agree; the ratios of means to the DDM value are 1.0,0.8 and 0.6. For the transition flow reactor method and for two dichotomous samplers operated as denuder difference samplers, the ratio of means to the DDM are 1.09 and 0.93, respectively. The tunable diode laser absorption spectrometers gave lower daytime and higher night-time readings compared to the DDM, especially during the last three days of the study. Averaged over the entire measurement period, the daytime ratio of TDLAS to DDM is 0.8 and the night-time ratio is 1.7.

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Additional Information:© 1988 Pergamon Press. First received 29 December 1986 and in final form 24 April 1987. We thank Mr. John Giboney and Prof. C. Freeman Allen of Pomona College for their help and cooperation in providing space and facilities to conduct the study, the Southern California Edison Company for providing electric power at the site, and the ARB staff from the Haagen-Smit Laboratory for logistical support. We thank P. Switzer (Stanford University) and M. Widawski (University of California, Los Angeles) who advised us in the statistical analyses. The Atmospheric Environment Service (Canada), California Air Resources Board, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche (Italy), Ford Motor Company and Southern California Edison provided financial and/or in kind support, which is gratefully appreciated. We thank the many participants who helped make the study possible, including D. McTavish (Atmospheric Environment Service), Y. Tokiwa (California Dept. of Health Services), S. Larson (California Institute of Technology), N. Lytle, S. Eatough and J. Packard (Brigham Young University), J. Cheney (Environmental Protection Agency), A. Huang, L. Games and M. McKenny (Southern California Edison), J. Horrocks, J. Jung, P. Harrington, J. Shikiya, R. Papa and R. Torre (California Air Resources Board), K. Mayne (Unisearch Associates), J. Koetz and Michael Holdren (Battelle Columbus Laboratories), M. Buhr (University of Denver), and J. N. Pitts, Jr., T. Wallington, R. Atkinson, J. Sweetman, B. Zielinska, T. Ramdahl, W. Harger, T. Dinoff and P. Pelzel (University of California, Riverside). Support for this project was provided by California Air Resources Board contracts A4-164-32 and A5-068-32. The mention of commercial products, their source or use in connection with material reported herein is not to be construed as an actual or implied endorsement of such products.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Atmospheric Environment Service (Canada)UNSPECIFIED
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)UNSPECIFIED
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)UNSPECIFIED
Consiglio Nazionale delle RichercheUNSPECIFIED
Ford Motor CompanyUNSPECIFIED
Southern California EdisonUNSPECIFIED
California Air Resources BoardA4-164-32
California Air Resources BoardA5-068-32
Subject Keywords:Comparison of measurement methods; measurement precision and accuracy; nitric acid
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160726-103216719
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Official Citation:S.V. Hering, D.R. Lawson, I. Allegrini, A. Febo, C. Perrino, M. Possanzini, J.E. Sickles II, K.G. Anlauf, A. Wiebe, B.R. Appel, W. John, J. Ondo, S. Wall, R.S. Braman, R. Sutton, G.R. Cass, P.A. Solomon, D.J. Eatough, N.L. Eatough, E.C. Ellis, D. Grosjean, B.B. Hicks, J.D. Womack, J. Horrocks, K.T. Knapp, T.G. Ellestad, R.J. Paur, W.J. Mitchell, M. Pleasant, E. Peake, A. MacLean, W.R. Pierson, W. Brachaczek, H.I. Schiff, G.I. Mackay, C.W. Spicer, D.H. Stedman, A.M. Winer, H.W. Biermann, E.C. Tuazon, The nitric acid shootout: Field comparison of measurement methods, Atmospheric Environment (1967), Volume 22, Issue 8, 1988, Pages 1519-1539, ISSN 0004-6981, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:69221
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:26 Jul 2016 19:18
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 04:11

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