Development of Measurement Methodology for Sub 23 nm Particle Number (PN) Measurements 2020-01-2211
A proposal for sub-23 nm Solid Particle Number (SPN) measurement method was developed by the Particle Measurement Programme (PMP) group, based on the current SPN measurement method. In the proposal, a Particle Number Counter (PNC) having (65 ± 15)% counting efficiency at 10 nm and >90% at 15 nm (PNC10) replaces the current regulation PNC efficiency of 50±12% at 23 nm and >90% at 41 nm. Additionally, a catalytically active evaporation tube (CS) is required for sub-23 nm measurement method instead of the non-reactive evaporation tube (ET) of the current regulation. Here experimental work carried out at the JRC to address the issues of sub-23 nm SPN-measurement method is presented. The PNC10 was shown to be less dependent on the particle material than the PNC23, thus soot-like particles are still allowed for PNC-calibration. The high charging probability of soot-like particles was shown to have a low effect on PNC calibration uncertainties. The new proposed linearity test which requires that the PNC readings need to be within ±5% of the slope was here shown to be applicable. The proposal requires that Particle Concentration Reduction Factor (PCRF) at 15 nm shall be at most 100% higher than the 100 nm PCRF for the Volatile Particle Remover (VPR). The allowed variability in VPR-losses and PNC10-efficiencies of the new proposal could cause differences up to 36% when a distribution with Geometric Mean Diameter at 15 nm was simulated. Yet, for the commercial CS and ET systems with experimentally determined PCRF 15 nm to 100 nm ratios of 80% and 50% respectively, the maximum difference was 19% using PNC10. The average PCRF in the proposal is calculated as in the current regulation, with an average of PCRFs at 30 nm, 50 nm and 100 nm in order to keep the comparability with the 23 nm regulation and because the addition of the PCRF at 15 nm did not improve the accuracy.