ChAMBRe: a new atmospheric simulation chamber for aerosol modelling and bio-aerosol research

Massabò, Dario; Danelli, Silvia Giulia; Brotto, Paolo; Comite, Antonio; Costa, Camilla; Di Cesare, Andrea; Doussin, Jean François; Ferraro, Federico; Formenti, Paola; Gatta, Elena; Negretti, Laura; Oliva, Maddalena; Parodi, Franco; Vezzulli, Luigi; Prati, Paolo

Atmospheric simulation chambers are exploratory platforms used to study various atmospheric processes at realistic but controlled conditions. We describe here a new facility specifically designed for the research on atmospheric bio-aerosol as well as the protocols to produce, inject, expose and collect bio-aerosols. ChAMBRe (Chamber for Aerosol Modelling and Bio-aerosol Research) is installed at the Physics Department of the University of Genoa, Italy, and it is a node of the EUROCHAMP-2020 consortium. The chamber is made of stainless steel with a total volume of about 2.2 minline-formula3. The lifetime of aerosol particle with dimension from a few hundreds of nanometres to a few microns varies from about 2 to 10 h. Characteristic parts of the facility are the equipment and the procedures to grow, inject, and extract bacterial strains in the chamber volume while preserving their viability. Bacteria are part of the atmospheric ecosystem and have impact on several levels as: health related issues, cloud formation, and geochemistry. ChAMBRe will host experiments to study the bacterial viability vs. the air quality level, i.e. the atmospheric concentration of gaseous and aerosol pollutants. In this article, we report the results of the characterization tests as well as of the first experiments performed on two bacterial strains belonging to the Gram-positive and Gram-negative groups. A reproducibility at the 10 % level has been obtained in repeated injections and collection runs with a clean atmosphere, assessing this way the chamber sensitivity for systematic studies on bacterial viability vs. environmental conditions.

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Massabò, Dario / Danelli, Silvia Giulia / Brotto, Paolo / et al: ChAMBRe: a new atmospheric simulation chamber for aerosol modelling and bio-aerosol research. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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