17 April 1999

Nanoparticles, the smallest fraction of particles of diameters below 0.05 microns, have been attracting increasing interest over the last few years. Nanoparticles are emitted from both diesel and gasoline engines, as well as from industrial sources. A newly developed instrument system to measure nanoparticle emissions, termed NanoMet, will be presented at the Hannover Messe in Germany next week.

NanoMet combines several on-line measurement techniques in a single unit not larger than a suitcase. A pocket size tunable diluter facilitates direct sampling from the raw aerosol. Optional absorbers remove vapors and condensates. Up to three sensors can be operated simultaneously for real-time measurement of the surface, chemical properties, and the number of nanoparticles. NanoMet requires a mains supply as the only infrastructure. It can be used in field conditions, such as in an underground mine or at a construction site.

A demonstration of the instrument at the Hannover Messe will include efficiency test for particulate traps, measurement of particle concentrations in ambient air, and distinction of particles from different sources.

The instrument system consists of the tunable dilution unit and three sensor modules which can be configured to fit the user's individual needs. The sensor modules include a Fuchs surface sensor with corona charger, PAS 2000 photoelectric aerosol sensor by EcoChem, and a condensation nucleus counter (CNC) by TSI.

NanoMet has been developed by a team of Swiss scientists from ETH, TTM, VerAn, and FH Aargau and is marketed by Matter Engineering of Wohlen, Switzerland.

Source: Matter Engineering
Contact: U. Matter, +41.56.618.6630