Non-fibrous organic materials
This category of particles is highly varied, because it encompasses all particle forms of carbon-based matter which are not elemental carbon (which contains only carbon atoms).
The residues of plastic-making processes are included in this category, in particular particles released by 3-D printers that use organic materials like PLA or ABS. All forms of particles of biological origin are included in this category, such as pollens. Organic capsule or sphere technologies are also affected.
Combustion also emits organic particles such as PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).
PARTICLEVER technology can quantify organic carbon separately from elemental carbon using a thermal-optical analyzer, which is the standard instrument for monitoring air quality for carbon.
Particles may also be sampled for electron microscope analysis in order to identify particular morphological properties, so as to identify forms specific to the investigated particles, or particular dangers associated with the form (nanoparticles, low-density agglomerates, etc.).
Organic carbon being so light, particles sedimentation is very low. See in our Nanoparticles dossier “Nanoparticle stagnation in air”.