Field inter-comparison of eleven atmospheric ammonia measurement techniques

Bobrutzki, Kristina; Braban, Christine; Famulari, Daniela; Jones, Stephanie; Blackall, T.; Smith, T.E.L.; Blom, M.; Coe, H.; Gallagher, M.; Ghalaieny, M.; McGillen, M.R.; Percival, C.J.; Whitehead, J.D.; Ellis, R.; Murphy, J.; Mohacsi, A.; Junninen, H.; Pogany, A.; Rantanen, S.; Sutton, Mark; Nemitz, Eiko. 2009 Field inter-comparison of eleven atmospheric ammonia measurement techniques. Atmospheric Measurement Technology Discussions, 2. 1783-1836.

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Eleven instruments for the measurement of ambient concentrations of atmospheric ammonia gas (NH3), based on eight different measurement methods were inter-compared above an intensively managed agricultural field in late summer 2008 in S. Scotland. To test the instruments over a wide range of concentrations, the field was fertilised with urea midway through the experiment, leading to an increase in the average concentration from 10 to 100 ppbv. The instruments deployed included three wet-chemistry systems, one with offline analysis (annular rotating batch denuder, RBD) and two with online-analysis (Annular Denuder sampling with online Analysis, AMANDA; AiRRmonia), two Quantum Cascade Laser Absorption Spectrometers (a large-cell dual system, DUAL-QCLAS, and a compact system, c-QCLAS), two photo-acoustic spectrometers (WaSul-Flux, Nitrolux-100), a Cavity Ring Down Spectrosmeter (CRDS), a Chemical Ionisation Mass Spectrometer (CIMS), an ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) and an Open-Path Fourier Transform Infra-Red (OP-FTIR) spectroscopy. Each instrument was compared with each other and with the average concentration of all instruments. An overall good agreement of hourly average concentrations between the instruments (R2>0.84), was observed for NH3 concentrations at the field of up to 120 ppbv with the slopes against the average ranging from 0.67 (DUAL-QCLAS) to 1.13 (AiRRmonia) with intercepts of –0.74 ppbv (RBD) to +2.69 ppbv (CIMS). More variability was found for performance for lower concentrations (<10 ppbv). Here the overruling factors affecting measurement precision are (a) the inlet design, (b) the state of inlet filters (where applicable), and (c) the quality of gas-phase standards (where applicable). By reference to the fast (1 Hz) instruments deployed during the study, it was possible to characterize the response times of the slower instruments.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 1 - Monitoring and Interpretation of Biogeochemical and Climate Changes > BGC - 1.4 - Develop innovative, effective methods for monitoring fluxes, exposure and effects
CEH Sections: Billett (to November 2013)
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Full text available from Publisher's website:
NORA Subject Terms: Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 24 Feb 2010 14:15

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