High-performance aerosol sampler with liquid phase recirculation and pre-concentration of particles

Akmalov AE1, Kotkovskii GE1, Stolyarov SV1, Verdiev BI2, Ovchinnikov RS2, Pochtovyy AA2, Tkachuk AP2, Chistyakov AA1
About authors

1 National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Moscow

2 N. F. Gamaleya Federal Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, Moscow

About paper

Funding: this work was supported by the Federal Target Program The National System for Chemical and Biological Security of the Russian Federation (2015- 2020), the state contract No. K-27-НИР/148-2 signed by the Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation and the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI.

Received: 2018-07-27 Accepted: 2018-08-23 Published online: 2018-10-05

Testing the surrounding environment for the presence of biogenic aerosols is crucial in ensuring its safety for the population. It is often necessary to collect aerosol samples from large areas in short time, which demands excellent particle collection efficiency, a sufficient incoming air flow rate and a capacity to maintain the viability of the collected samples. Below we present the aerosol sampler with a high volumetric flow rate based on a two-stage particle concentration algorithm and consisting of a virtual impactor and a cyclone concentrator with a recirculating liquid phase. We provide all necessary calculations and an algorithm for modeling impactor parameters. The sampler was tested using dry and liquid formulations dispersed into the particles of 0.5 to 5 μm in diameter. We demonstrate that at volumetric flow rates over 4,000 l/min efficiency of particle collection into the liquid phase at a volume of 10 ml makes over 20% of the total aerosol mass and at volumetric flow rates over 300 l/min this value is over 60%. The proposed device maintains viability of the collected microorganisms. The sampler is portable, with flexible settings for sampling and cleaning, and can be controlled remotely over the network.

Keywords: pathogens, aerosols, efficiency, sampler, impactor, volumetric flow rate, cyclone