Particle Characterization


We Are Particle Experts

Particulate matter (PM) covers a wide range of finely dispersed solids that originate from both mobile and stationary sources and vary widely in chemical and physical composition. Particle characterization, which is the identification of the composition of the particulate, can lead to the source of pollution. Identifying the size will determine if it exceeds the criteria for respirable particulate matter (RPM).

RJ Lee Group excels in the characterization of particulate. Our experts monitor, sample and analyze particulate matter in the workplace to assess air quality conditions for workers, and to determine if any particulate produced during processing and manufacture affects workers or product. This is especially important in industries such as those that manufacture pharmaceuticals and electronic materials which can generate contaminants of concern down to the nano level. Nanomaterials are also found in ambient air on a daily basis in diesel fumes or from natural sources such as smog or fire. These nano particles, whether man-made or naturally occurring, have a strong tendency to agglomerate and form highly irregularly shaped structures that may exhibit unknown characteristics. RJ Lee Group experts can uncover these characteristics by determining their size, size distribution and shape, chemistry and surface changes to identify any potential risk.

PM and Air Monitoring

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA established air quality standards for particulate matter. Air monitoring and sampling are the means to assess compliance with ambient air quality standards and to identify and evaluate process changes and potential workplace exposure. At RJ Lee Group we can help determine the best approach for monitoring particulate matter or vapors and aerosol particles including:

  • Indoor air quality and workplace monitoring
    • to meet EPA requirements
    • to assess personal exposure of workers to volatile compounds
    • to determine process pollutantsIndoor air quality and workplace monitoring
  • Environmental monitoring
    • Source Identification
    • Source Apportionment
    • Nuisance dust monitoring

How Do We Get It and What Is It?

Sample collection entails active and/or passive air monitoring methods. Active sampling relies on sampling pumps to draw air and chemical vapors or gases to filter materials for quantitative analysis. Passive sampling is a low-cost solution that can help identify local PM sources at multiple locations and provide an average representation of the level of particulate over a period of time. Our experts select the method best-suited to the analysis of your sample to determine size, shape, composition and distribution data. Whether using optical microscopy for surface structure and aspherical determination of coarser particles or computer-controlled electron microscopy for counting, sizing, distribution, and morphology of finer particles, Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) for elemental chemical composition or X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (ICPM) for elemental concentrations, we understand what you need to know and how to obtain the answers.

And It All Comes Together

By understanding particle behavior and having the expertise to investigate and identify particles, we bring together another level of competency to our clients. Using the right instrumentation, sample preparation methods and technique, we apply this expertise to assess environmental and workplace health and safety standards. Our experts have been recognized by the EPA in both collaborative efforts and projects awarded. We have published on the subject in peer-review journals and have been invited to present at scientific forums and to conduct particle characterization workshops. We are particle experts.