Comparative performance of a thermal denuder and a catalytic stripper in sampling laboratory and marine exhaust aerosols

Stavros Amanatidis, Leonidas Ntziachristos, Panu Karjalainen, Erkka Saukko, Pauli Simonen, Niina Kuittinen, Päivi Aakko-Saksa, Hilkka Timonen, Topi Rönkkö, Jorma Keskinen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    The performance of a thermal denuder (thermodenuder—TD) and a fresh catalytic stripper (CS) was assessed by sampling laboratory aerosol, produced by different combinations of sulfuric acid, octacosane, and soot particles, and marine exhaust aerosol produced by a medium-speed marine engine using high sulfur fuels. The intention was to study the efficiency in separating non-volatile particles. No particles could be detected downstream of either device when challenged with neat octacosane particles at high concentration. Both laboratory and marine exhaust aerosol measurements showed that sub-23 nm semi-volatile particles are formed downstream of the thermodenuder when upstream sulfuric acid approached 100 ppbv. Charge measurements revealed that these are formed by re-nucleation rather than incomplete evaporation of upstream aerosol. Sufficient dilution to control upstream sulfates concentration and moderate TD operation temperature (250°C) are both required to eliminate their formation. Use of the CS following an evaporation tube seemed to eliminate the risk for particle re-nucleation, even at a ten-fold higher concentration of semi-volatiles than in case of the TD. Particles detected downstream of the CS due to incomplete evaporation of sulfuric acid and octacosane aerosol, did not exceed 0.01% of upstream concentration. Despite the superior performance of CS in separating non-volatile particles, the TD may still be useful in cases where increased sensitivity over the traditional evaporation tube method is needed and where high sulfur exhaust concentration may fast deplete the catalytic stripper adsorption capacity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    Number of pages13
    JournalAerosol Science and Technology
    Issue number4
    Early online date13 Jan 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 2

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Chemistry
    • General Materials Science
    • Pollution


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