Comparison of Mercury Measurement Methods Using Two Active Filter Measurement Methods and a Tekran Speciation Unit

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Ashley Pierce1, Mae Sexauer Gustin2, Jiaoyan Huang1 and Keith Heidecorn1, (1)University of Nevada Reno, Reno, NV, United States, (2)University of Nevada-Reno, Reno, NV, United States
Three active mercury (Hg) measurement methods were operated side by side at an urban site (University of Nevada, Reno College of Agriculture Greenhouse facility, elev. 1370 m) in Reno, and at a high elevation site (Peavine Peak, elev. 2515 m) adjacent to Reno from December 2013 to October 2014. A model 602 BetaPlus Teledyne Advanced Pollution Instrumentation (TAPI, San Diego, CA USA) particulate measurement system was used to collect particulate matter on a 47 mm diameter cation exchange membrane (CEM, PN# MSTGS3R Mustang S, Pall Corp. Port Washington, NY) at a rate of 16.7 lpm for 24 hours to four days. Particulate concentrations were calculated using beta attenuation across the filters (non-destructive to filter material); the CEM filters were then analyzed for total Hg on a Tekran Total Hg Analysis system (model 2600, Tekran Instruments Corp. Knoxville, TN, USA). Concurrently, samples were collected on an active Hg membrane system. The active Hg membrane system consisted of 3 CEM filters sampling at a rate of 1 lpm for one to two weeks. CEM filters were then analyzed on the Tekran 2600. A Tekran speciation unit (model 1130, 1135, 2537) was also in operation and ambient air samples were analyzed for gaseous elemental Hg (GEM), gaseous oxidized Hg (GOM), and particulate bound Hg (PBM). Both the 602 BetaPlus system and the active Hg membrane system should collect RM on the CEM filters. The active Hg membrane system most likely captures mainly GOM based on previous tests with the Teflon inlet setup that indicated there was high static electricity effective in removing particulate matter. Flow rate and length of measurement (24 hours vs. four days) affected the Hg concentrations on the 602 BetaPlus system. Based on these measurements we hypothesize that, due to the high flow rate, and therefore short retention time, the 602 BetaPlus only captured PBM. It is also possible that there was loss of Hg to inlet walls due to the longer inlet on the 602 BetaPlus system compared to the active Hg membrane system.