Comparison of two estimation methods for surface area concentration using number concentration and mass concentration of combustion-related ultrafine particles

Ji Young Park, Peter C. Raynor, Andrew D. Maynard, Lynn E. Eberly, Gurumurthy Ramachandran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recent research has suggested that the adverse health effects caused by nanoparticles are associated with their surface area (SA) concentrations. In this study, SA was estimated in two ways using number and mass concentrations and compared with SA (SAmeas) measured using a diffusion charger (DC). Aerosol measurements were made twice: once starting in October 2002 and again starting in December 2002 in Mysore, India in residences that used kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking. Mass, number, and SA concentrations and size distributions by number were measured in each residence. The first estimation method (SAPSD) used the size distribution by number to estimate SA. The second method (SAINV) used a simple inversion scheme that incorporated number and mass concentrations while assuming a lognormal size distribution with a known geometrical standard deviation. SAPSD was, on average, 2.4 times greater (range = 1.6-3.4) than SAmeas while SAINV was, on average, 6.0 times greater (range = 4.6-7.7) than SAmeas. The logarithms of SAPSD and SAINV were found to be statistically significant predictors of the logarithm of SAmeas. The study showed that particle number and mass concentration measurements can be used to estimate SA with a correction factor that ranges between 2 and 6.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-509
Number of pages8
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009



  • Diffusion charger
  • Estimation methods
  • Mass concentration
  • Number concentration
  • Surface area concentration
  • Ultrafine particles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this