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Air Research

Black Carbon Measurement Research

EPA scientists are working to improve ways to measure black carbon, learn more about its composition and compare its impacts relative to other airborne particles.

Researchers are:

  • Studying how particles absorb and scatter different wavelengths of light.
  • Measuring black carbon's mass and if other particles adhere to black carbon.
  • Evaluating low-cost and palm-sized black carbon instruments that may give a wider range of measurements.

New black carbon measurement methods have been tested in laboratory and field studies using EPA's Geospatial Measurement of Air Pollution (GMAP) mobil sampling vehicle. GMAP evaluates air quality by measuring near roadway emissions.

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