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Optical Particle Counter


:: Section 1

The Optical Particle Counter is an instrument based on the principle of light scattering from particles. It is a real time instrument that is typically used to measure particles above 0.05 μm in diameter.

Real time aerosol instruments are used in several industrial sectors, by

  • Environmental Engineers to measure size distribution of particulate pollutants in the ambient atmosphere, in exhausts of industrial devices such as smelters, coal combustors, automobiles. They are also used for measuring efficiencies of particle control equipment, and can be used to calibrate other instruments.
  • Industrial Hygienists to sample particles in occupational environments.
  • Pharmaceutists to size and classify their powdered drugs.



Environmental Engineers American Association for Aerosol Research
American Academy of Environmental Engineers
American Association of Environmental Engineering Professors
Mechanical Engineers American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Chemical Engineers American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Pharmaceutists American Pharmaceutical Association
Industrial Hygienists American Institute of Industrial Hygiene Association

Valuable Reading:

  • Aerosol Measurement, 2nd Edition, edited by Baron and Willeke, Wiley Interscience.
  • Aerosol Technology, 2nd Edition, W.C. Hinds, Wiley Interscience
  • Smoke Dust and Haze, 2nd Edition, S.K. Friedlander, Oxford
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Pollution, S. Pandis and J.H. Seinfeld