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We present an optical particle sizer conceived for the on-line analysis of low concentration particle-laden flows. It belongs to the wide class of instruments based on the detection of the light scattered at small angle in the forward direction. Innovative solutions have been adopted both in the optical configuration and in the detection scheme which enable the instrument to operate at very low concentration regimes (i.e., at extinction values as small as 10-5). Particle classification is made over 31 size classes in the range of diameters 0.9–90 μm. The whole system has been designed for applications in hostile environments. Preliminary measurements have been carried out in a coal fired power plant on a flue duct downstream the electrostatic precipitators (average temperature 150 °C, particle concentration smaller than 50 mg/Nm3). © 2001 American Institute of Physics.
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