On the concentration differences between PM2.5 FEM monitors and FRM samplers

Thi Cuc Le, Krishna Kumar Shukla, Yu Ting Chen, Shun Chin Chang, Tsai Yin Lin, Ziyi Li, David Y.H. Pui, Chuen-Jinn Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


BAM-1020 and TEOM-FDMS have undergone rigorous testing and analysis protocols to become the Federal Equivalent Method (FEM) monitors and serve as reliable near real-time monitors for compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and references for low-cost PM2.5 sensor calibration. However, differences between the FEM and FRM (Federal Reference Method) data still exist, which cause inconsistency in PM2.5 measurements. This study carried out the field tests across five geographically diverse stations in different seasons in Taiwan with 265 daily samples collected by the collocated BAM-1020 and TEOM-FDMS and the FRM sampler and found that the biases between the FEM and FRM values increased with the decreasing PM2.5 concentrations and varied with ambient conditions. The measurement uncertainties exist in the BAM-1020 were mainly due to the aerosol water content, while the TEOM-FDMS always over-measured PM2.5 compared to the FRM sampler since it corrects for the evaporation loss of semi-volatile particle materials. To reduce the biases between the FEM monitors and FRM samplers, empirical equations based on PM2.5 concentrations (μg m−3), temperature (oC), and relative humidity (%) were derived to convert the FEM data to the FRM data. After correction, the mean normalized biases were decreased from +1.67 ± 12.43% to +0.63 ± 8.75% for the BAM-1020 and from +13.86 ± 14.50% to −0.85 ± 9.0% for the TEOM-FDMS. Also, the same empirical equation was used to convert the FRM PM2.5 values to the “true” or “actual” PM2.5 values represented by the TEOM-FDMS with the bias reduced from −10.76 ± 11.42% to +1.33 ± 8.44% after conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117138
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalAtmospheric Environment
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • BAM-1020
  • Evaporation loss
  • FEM monitors
  • FRM samplers
  • PM artifacts


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