Development of a passive sampler for gaseous mercury
Here we describe work toward development of the components of a cost effective passive sampling system for gaseous Hg that could be broadly deployed by nontechnical staff. The passive sampling system included an external shield to reduce turbulence and exposure to precipitation and dust, a diffusive housing that directly protects the collection surface during deployment and handling, and a collection surface. A protocol for cleaning and deploying the sampler and an analytical method were developed. Our final design consisted of a polycarbonate external shield enclosing a custom diffusive housing made from expanded PTFE tubing. Two collection surfaces were investigated, gold sputter-coated quartz plates and silver wires. Research showed the former would require extensive quality control for use, while the latter had interferences with other atmosphere constituents. Although the gold surface exhibited the best performance over space and time, gradual passivation would limit reuse. For both surfaces lack of contamination during shipping, deployment and storage indicated that the handling protocols developed worked well with nontechnical staff. We suggest that the basis for this passive sampling system is sound, but further exploration and development of a reliable collection surface is needed.
Gustin M.S., Lyman S.N., Kilner P., Prestbo E., 2011. Development of a passive sampler for gaseous mercury. Atmospheric Environment 45, 5805-5812.