Source Characterization Laboratory

Lab Description

The Source Characterization Laboratory investigates the particulate matter from combustion sources utilizing a dilution and residence chamber. This chamber allows reproducible dilution of sources and simulates dilution in the ‘real world.’ The residence chamber allows the gas and particulate species to equilibrate with each other. Analysis is done with filters as well as several real-time instruments. These instruments include the TSI nano SMPS, the GRIMM SMPS, the MSP WPS, the TSI DustTRAK, the DRI Photoacoustic instrument, the Magee seven wavelength Aethalometer, the EcoChem PAS2000, the LiCor CO2 Analyzer and a Campbell Scientific datalogger. Sources that have been studied so far have included a diesel generator, an acetylene torch, the PALAS electric arc, and wood smoke from white oak. These allow the production of reproducible mixtures of black carbon, organic carbon, and other compounds that can be used to understand and standardize thermal methods for carbon analysis.


John Watson, Ph.D.
Lab Director 


Desert Research Institute
2215 Raggio Parkway
Reno, NV 89512


Atmospheric Sciences