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Multi-wavelength absorption black carbon instrument

Multi-wavelength absorption black carbon instrument

The Multi-wavelength absorption black carbon instrument MABI can determine the concentration and source of black carbon pollution.

ANSTO has developed a new portable instrument to determine both precisely and accurately the concentration and source of black carbon in air pollution. The new instrument can be purchased directly from ANSTO's Centre for Accelerator Science.

Black carbon is one of the most significant constituents of atmospheric fine particle pollution.  It has impacts on health and climate change

bushfire vs diesel

Richmond black carbon profile

Graph comparing BC concentration obtained from 639nm MABI data
in blue with (375nm minus 940nm) MABI data in red. The BC peaks
seen in the red plot are from biomass burning while the BC peaks
in the blue plot are from motor vehicles

Using typical aerosol filter samples, the Multi-wavelength Absorption Black carbon Instrument (MABI) measures light absorption at seven different wavelengths.

As black carbon can be emitted from a range of different sources, primarily either diesel vehicles of biomass burning, particles have a range of densities and sizes.

When the black carbon concentration equation is modified to include contributions relating to the size and density of the particles, a more accurate measurement is acquired.

Spanning ultraviolet to infrared wavelengths, the measurements can be used to differentiate the contribution from different sources.

MABI

Key features of the unit
  • Small desktop size (portable)
  • Connects directly to your computer's USB port
  • Designed specifically for typical aerosol filter samples (47mm polycarbonate, 47mm Teflon, 25mm stretched Teflon, etc.)
  • Non-destructive, filters can be further analysed with other techniques, such as IBA or XRF
  • Fast, takes less than 35 seconds to complete a 7 wavelength measurement
  • Provided with digital acquisition software (see below)

MABI software

Calculations

The concentration of black carbon concentration is generally determined using this equation 

Formula black carbon

Although single-wavelength light absorption methods are widely used and accepted to determine the concentration of black carbon, the result may be inaccurate. Black carbon can be emitted from a range of different sources and have a range of different densities and sizes. The mass absorption coefficient is wavelength and density-dependent.

MABI measures light transmission at seven different wavelengths to address the limitation of single wavelength methods. The user performs the black carbon calculation, ensuring full control and understanding in the interpretation of values. 

Specifications 
LED Wavelengths405nm, 465nm, 525nm, 639nm, 870nm, 940nm and 1050nm
Power supplyData communication and power supply is provided to the MABI via a Universal Serial Bus (USB) cable
Filter holders25mm and 47mm filter holders are provided. Additional filter holder sizes may be provided on request.
Computer requirementThe instrument requires a minimum of Microsoft Windows 7 or higher
Data formatData output is provided in cvs file formal, which can be easily imported into programs such as EXCEL