Passive Sampling of Ambient Nitrogen Dioxide Using Local Tubes


Traditional active and automated sampling of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) monitoring techniques require expensive instrumentation which is not easily adapted for large scale monitoring by resource limited countries. This paper presents the use of locally available relatively cheaper polyethylene tubes to be developed as passive diffusive sampler and use for monitoring of ambient nitrogen dioxide using Triethanolamine (TEA) as absorbent. After extraction with double distilled water, modified Griese-Saltzmann method is used for analysis of nitrite adduct formed due to reaction of NO2 with TEA using spectrophotometer. The results are compared with Ferm-Badge type passive samplers from IVL- Sweden and high volume sampling methods. The detection limits of the passive sampling methods were found to be suitable to be use in tested environment and precision of the method as expressed as Coefficient of variation are good enough for monitoring of NO2 in ambient air of Kathmandu. The method shows strong correlation with high volume sampler and no significant difference with Ferm-Badge—IVL samplers at p = 0.05.

Share and Cite:

R. Byanju, M. Gewali and K. Manandhar, "Passive Sampling of Ambient Nitrogen Dioxide Using Local Tubes," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2012, pp. 177-186. doi: 10.4236/jep.2012.32022.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] F. De Santis, A. Fino, S. Tiwari, C. Vazzana and I. Allegrini, “Development of a Passive Sampling Technique for the Determination of Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulphur Di- oxide in Ambient Air,” Analytica Chimica Acta, Vol. 346, No. 1, 1997, pp. 127-134. doi:10.1016/S0003-2670(97)00075-5
[2] E. D. Palmes, A. F. Gunnison, J. DiMattio and C. Tomczyk, “Personal Sampler for Nitrogen Dioxide,” American In- dustrial Hygiene Association Journal, Vol. 37, No. 10, 1976, pp. 570-577. doi:10.1080/0002889768507522
[3] M. Ferm and P. Svanberg, “Cost-Efficient Techniques for Urban and Background Measurements of SO2 and NO2”. Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 32, No. 8, 1998, pp. 1377- 1381. doi:10.1016/S1352-2310(97)00170-2
[4] T. Bush, S.Smith, K. Stevenson and S. Moorcroft, “Validation of Nitrogen Dioxide Diffusion Tube Methodology in the UK,” Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 35, No. 2, 2001, pp. 289-296. doi:10.1016/S1352-2310(00)00172-2
[5] M. Ferm, “Principles of Diffusive Monitoring,” Measuring Air Pollutants by Diffusive Sampling and Other Low Cost Monitoring Technique Krakow Conference, Krakow, 15-17 September 2009.
[6] Y. Yanagisawa and H. Nishimura, “A Badge-Type Personal Sampler for Measurement of Personal Exposure to NO and NOx in Ambient Air,” Environment International, Vol. 8, No. 1-6, 1982, pp. 235-242. doi:10.1016/0160-4120(82)90033-2
[7] K. Amaya and K. Sugiura, “A Simple, Inexpensive and Reliable Method of Measuring Nitrogen Dioxide Con- centration in Ambient Air,” Environment Protection En- gineering, Vol. 9, 1983, pp. 5-9.
[8] Diffusive Samplers for Nitrogen Dioxide from Gradko- environmental, UK. http://
[9] D. Krochmal and L. Gorski, “Determination of Nitrogen Dioxide in Ambient Air by Use of a Passive Sampling Technique and Triethanolamine as Absorbent,” Environ- mental Science & Technology, Vol. 25, No. 3, 1991, pp. 531-535. doi:10.1021/es00015a023
[10] D. Krochmal and L. Gorski, “Modification of Amaya- Sugiura Passive Sampling Spectrophotometric Method of Nitrogen Dioxide Determination in Ambient Air,” Fre- senius’ Journal of Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 340, No. 4, 1991, pp. 220-222. doi:10.1007/BF00321772
[11] B. C. Cadoff and J. Hodgeson, “Passive Sampler for Ambient Levels of Nitrogen Dioxide,” Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 55, No. 13, 1983, pp. 2083-2085. doi:10.1021/ac00263a017
[12] J. D. Mulik, R. G. Lewis and W. A. McCleny, “Modification of a High-Efficiency Passive Sampler to Determine Nitrogen Dioxide or Formaldehyde in Air,” Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 61, No. 2, 1989, pp. 187-189. doi:10.1021/ac00177a022
[13] M. Ferm, “A Sensitive Diffusion Sampler,” Report, Swe- dish Environmental Research Institute, Stockholm, 1991.
[14] UNEP/WHO, GEMS/AIR Methodology Reviews Vol. 4: Passive and Active Sampling Methodologies for Measurement of Air Quality, WHO/EOS/94.4.5.UNEP Nairobi, Genava, 1994.
[15] K. Shakey, “Passive sampling of Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide in Ambient Air,” Masters’ Thesis, Graduate School, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, 2004.
[16] KVEO, “Kathmandu Valley Environment Outlook”, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MoEST) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 2007.
[17] B. Sapkota, “Air Pollution Transport from Kathmandu Valley,” Journal of the Institute of Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2004, pp. 30-42.
[18] S. K. Joshi, “Violence against Women in Nepal—Health Care Workers’ Role,” Kathmandu University Medical Jour- nal, Vol. 1, No. 4, 2003, pp. 231-233.
[19] D. Pudasainee, B. Sapkota, A. Bhatnagar, S. H. Kim and Y. C. Seo, “Influence of Weekdays, Weekends and Bandhas on Surface Ozone in Kathmandu Valley,” Atmospheric Research, Vol. 95, No. 2-3, 2010, pp. 150-156. doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2009.09.007
[20] B. Tuladhar, “Air Quality Management issues and Priorities for Nepal,” Technical Paper, National Stakeholder’s Meeting, Building Partnership for Clean Air Initiative in Nepal, CANN, Kathmandu, 2008.
[21] MOEST, “Ambient Air Quality of Kathmandu Valley,” Report, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, Kathmandu, 2006.
[22] MOEST, “Ambient Air Quality of Kathmandu Valley,” Report, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, Kathmandu, 2007.
[23] M. Ferm and H. Rodhe, “Measurements of Air Concentrations of SO2, NO2 and NH3 at Rural and Remote Sites in Asia,” Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry, Vol. 27, No. 1, 1997, pp. 17-22. doi:10.1023/A:1005816621522
[24] G. R. Carmichel, M. Ferm, N. Thongboonchoo, J. H. Woo, L. Y. Chan, K. Murano, P. H. Viet, C. Mossberg, R. Bala, J. Boonjawat, P. Upatum, M. Mohan, S. P. Adhikary, A. B. Shrestha, J. J. Pienaar, E. G. Brunke, T. Chen, T. Jie, D. Guoan, L. C. Peng, S. Dhiharto, H. Harhanto, A. M. Jose, W. Kimani, A. Kirouane, J. P. Lacaux, S. Richard, O. Barturen, J. C. Cerda, A. Athayde, T. Tavares, J. S. Cotrina and E. Bilici, “Measurements of Sulfur Dioxide, Ozone and Ammonia Concentrations in Asia, Africa and South Africa
[25] Cornwall Air Quality Forum, Truro NO2 Diffusion Tube Programme, 2000.
[26] A. Kasper-Giebl and H. Puxbaum, “Deposition of Par- ticulate Matter in Diffusion Tube Samplers for the De- termination of NO2 and SO2,” Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 33, No. 8, 1999, pp. 1323-1326. doi:10.1016/S1352-2310(98)00298-2
[27] D. Krochmal and A. Kalina,” Technical Note: A Method of Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulphur Dioxide Determination in Ambient Air by Use of Passive Samplers and Ion Chromatography,” Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 31, No. 20, 1999, pp. 3473-34579. doi:10.1016/S1352-2310(97)00154-4
[28] R. H. Brown, “Monitoring the Ambient Environment with Diffusive Samplers: Theory and Practical Consid- erations,” Journal of Environmental Monitoring, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2000, pp. 1-9. doi:10.1039/a906404d
[29] C. Kirby, M. Fox and J. Waterhouse, “Reliability of Nitrogen Dioxide Passive Diffusion Tubes for Ambient Measurement: In Situ Properties of the Triehanolamine Absorbent,” Journal of Environmental Monitoring, Vol. 2, No. 4, 2000, pp. 307-312. doi:10.1039/b003124k
[30] D. P. Miller, “Ion Chromatographic Analysis of Palmes Tubes for Nitrite,” Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 18, No. 4, 1984, pp. 891-892. doi:10.1016/0004-6981(84)90281-6
[31] S. Seethapathy, T. Gorecki and X. Li, “Review Passive Sampling in Environmental Analysis,” Journal of Chro- matography A, Vol. 1184, No. 1-2, 2008, pp. 234-253
[32] E. D. Palmes and E. R. Johnson, “Explanation of Pressure Effects on a Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Sampler,” American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, Vol. 48, No. 1, 1987, pp. 73-76.
[33] D. K. Ott, “Passive sampling of Ambient Coarse Particulate Matter, PM10-2.5”, Ph.D. Dissertation, Graduate College of the University of Iowa, , 2007.
[34] D. H. F. Atkins, J. Sandalls, D. V. Law, A. M. Hough and K. J. Stevenson, “The Measurement of Nitrogen Dioxide in the Outdoor Environment Using Passive Diffusion Tube Samplers,” HMSO, London, 1986.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.