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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 10 | Copyright
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 5885-5900, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-11-5885-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 24 Oct 2018

Research article | 24 Oct 2018

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

Dario Massabò1, Silvia Giulia Danelli2, Paolo Brotto3, Antonio Comite4, Camilla Costa4, Andrea Di Cesare5, Jean François Doussin6, Federico Ferraro1, Paola Formenti6, Elena Gatta7, Laura Negretti4, Maddalena Oliva4, Franco Parodi2, Luigi Vezzulli5, and Paolo Prati1 Dario Massabò et al.
  • 1Dipartimento di Fisica – Università di Genova and INFN – Sezione di Genova, via Dodecaneso 33, 16146, Genoa, Italy
  • 2INFN – Sezione di Genova, via Dodecaneso 33, 16146, Genoa, Italy
  • 3PM_TEN srl, Piazza della Vittoria 7/14, 16121, Genoa, Italy
  • 4Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale, Università di Genova, via Dodecaneso 31, 16146, Genoa, Italy
  • 5Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra dell'Ambiente e della Vita, Università di Genova, Corso Europa 26, 16132 Genoa, Italy
  • 6LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, Avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94000 Créteil, France
  • 7Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Genova, via Dodecaneso 33, 16146, Genoa, Italy

Abstract. 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 2.2m3. The lifetime of aerosol particle with dimension from a few hundreds of nanometres to a few microns varies from about 2 to 10h. 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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