Super-Low-Mass PM Analyzer Developed

21 May 2001


HORIBA, Ltd. (HQ: Kyoto, CEO: Atsushi Horiba) has developed an analyzer that measures automobile emission PMs (particulate matters), in 4 minutes only, with a super-sensitivity of 0.2 µg. PM measurement by conventional methods usually takes one day or longer. This new analyzer will quickly provide PM measurement data to facilitate research and development of automobiles.


One conventional PM analyzing method is the filter gravimetric method: after PMs are collected through a filter, they are weighed with a balance to determine the amount of PMs. In this manual, work-like analytical method, super-low-mass PM analysis is susceptible to various factors, causing measurement errors. Moreover, separation and measurement of components of PMs (SOF, soot, and sulfate), involving processes using solvents, etc., usually take 2 to 3 days. HORIBA, Ltd., boasting the top share of the automobile emission gas analyzer market, has received requests from automobile manufacturers around the world to develop an apparatus that can analyze super-low-mass PMs in a shorter time.


The new analyzer enables not only analysis of super-low-mass PMs, which is difficult by conventional methods, but also separation and measurement of components of PMs. Moreover, with the analyzer, these two processes can be completed in a shorter time. The analyzer is the first in the industry to enable simultaneous measurement of three components (SOF, soot and sulfate) with super-sensitivity of up to 0.2 µg. Moreover, it greatly reduces analyzing time, from a few days to only just 4 minutes.

There have been growing demands for development of such an analyzer; if it becomes possible to analyze PMs by the filter gravimetric method in a short time, like analysis of other automobile emissions, such as NOx, analytical data will be quickly fed back, increasing automobile development efficiency. To meet these market needs, HORIBA has developed the new analyzer. The key factors to this success are the "vaporization and oxidation reduction method," which is used in the analyzer, and the technological know-how we have long accumulated in gas component analysis. In the "vaporization and oxidation reduction method," PMs collected through a filter are vaporized; the mass of PMs is determined based on the concentration of gas generating through oxidation-reduction reactions. Therefore, this process is hardly affected by error-causing factors, such as humidity, enabling easy separation and measurement of components of PMs. Low-mass component analytical technology using the gas analysis method is one of our best "seeds," widely used in the environmental, physical, and chemical research fields.

We believe that the new analyzer will greatly contribute to the world`s most advanced automobile development, particularly analysis efficiency enhancement.