Bioaerosol concentrator performance: Comparative tests with viable and with solid and liquid nonviable particles

J. Kesavan, J. R. Bottiger, A. R. McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Aims: Generally it is more economical to first characterize a concentrator system with nonbiological particles followed by more rigorous bioaerosol testing. This study compares sampling system performance for varions particle types and sizes. Methods and Results: Performances of five concentrators were characterized with five nonviable and viable laboratory aerosols, although not every concentrator was tested with all aerosol types. For particle sizes less than c. 6 μm aerodynamic diameter, similar efficiencies are obtained for all test particles; however, for larger sizes there is a significant difference between liquid and dry particles. Conclusions: Aluminium oxide particles provide results over a broad range of sizes with a single test, but the method is less reproducible than other methods. A combination of monodisperse polystyrene spheres and oleic acid droplets provides an accurate representation of the system performance, but ultimately biological particle tests are needed. Significance and Impact of the Study: Devices are being developed for concentrating bioaerosol particles in the size range of 1-10 μm aerodynamic diameter and this study provides insight into data quality for different test methodologies. Also, the results show some current concentrators perform quite poorly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-295
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Aluminium oxide aerosols
  • Bioaerosol concentrators
  • Inert particles
  • Oleic acid particles
  • Polystyrene spheres
  • Viable particles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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