Questions and answers

The following includes some questions and the corresponding answers on the topic particles and their analysis.


Is it possible to differentiate soot derived from wood firing or traffic?
Yes, the differentiation is possible using so called tracer substances. During wood firing (beside carbon) potassium is also emitted, while traffic-derived soot does not contain potassium.

Silicon dioxide

Is it possible to differentiate between quartz (carcinogenic) and amorphous silicon dioxide (not carcinogenic)?
Yes, it is possible, given that sufficient material for analysis is available.


Is it possible to measure asbestos fibers at ambient air over a long period of time?
Yes, in contrast to the conventional measurement method applied indoor, a newly developed method allows the monitoring of asbestos over a long period of time.


Can we measure nanoparticles?
The amount (number concentration) of nanoparticles can be determined in a relatively simple way. However, the determination of the chemical composition, which is crucial for the evaluation of the hazardousness of the particles, is laborious.

Annoying polluter

Is it possible to identify the responsible/source of the dust based on one sample?
Yes, it is possible. Based on the particle size, shape and chemical composition, the source of the dust can be determined in most of the cases.

Waste combustion

Can we detect the combustion of waste?
If ash samples are available, it is not problematic. If the sample consists of particles that were deposited on a surface, it is a greater challenge to find evidence for waste combustion. Depending on the material and the amount that was combusted it is eventually feasible to prove the combustion activity.

Gravel and stone quarries

Is it possible to differentiate between immissions from gravel/stone quarries and other sources?
Yes, because in most of the cases the differences in chemical composition of the material derived from the quarries are large enough compared to other mineral sources. 

Particle Vision Network