Fine particles laboratory

The Fine Particles Laboratory complements the measurements performed in the Testing Laboratory and the Laboratory of Combustion Plants with dust emission values. The combination of several devices can cover a virtually the complete spectrum of emitted particles. The measurement occurs either on-line, or the particles can be captured on filters for later gravimetric or chemical analysis. Our laboratory is mainly focused on research into the formation and growth of the smallest particles in combustion processes.

Particles are most often taken directly from the flue. However, their concentration is too high for many devices, and it is, therefore, necessary to dilute the flue gas. We have two diluents using different dilution principles. Both can be heated to prevent condensation of volatile substances and water vapour.

To measure the concentration of coarse and fine particles, we use a Palas device, enabling on-line measurements with one-second resolution, including particle size distribution. This device is more suitable for lower concentrations, e.g., to monitor indoor air quality. As the device uses the principle of light scattering on dust particles, it does not apply to the smallest particles due to the laws of physics. We measure the fine and ultrafine fraction of dust particles with analysers from the TSI company. In them, the particles are first sorted based on their electrical mobility and then increased by condensation of butanol vapour. As a result, the smallest detectable particles are only 2 nm in size, which corresponds to a cluster of a few molecules. We physically capture particles that are classified by size in a cascade impactor from Dekati. The evaluation is performed gravimetrically, or the samples can be further chemically analysed. In addition to the mentioned devices, we also use the classical isokinetic sampling of solid pollutants on the filters and their gravimetric analysis in compliance with the procedures specified in the ČSN EN 13284-1 standard.

In addition to the boiler room, we also perform measurements in laboratory conditions. In this case, the boiler is replaced by a thermogravimetric analyser in which a small sample (weighing about 100 mg) is burned under strictly monitored conditions. All flue gases are then fed to a particle concentration analysis device. The advantage of this configuration is the high repeatability and controllability of measurements. A mass spectrometer can be used to analyse the resulting gaseous products.

We also have an aerosol generator, producing a harmless polydisperse aerosol with high concentrations, and an analyser for the size of particles dispersed in a liquid medium.

We offer

  • Laboratory thermogravimetric analysis of fuels and materials, including identification of the concentration and size distribution of the resulting fine particles in the size range 2–1000 nm.
  • Identification of fine particles in the flue pipes of small combustion plants, 2–1000 nm.
  • Identification of fine particles in a liquid medium.
  • Identification of particles in the environment (external and internal), in the range of 1-105 micrometres.


The following devices are used in measurement and research:

  • Palas Promo® 2000 particle counter
  • Electrostatic classifier 3080 and a condensation particle counter 3775 from TSI
  • Dekati HT-DLPI + cascade impactor
  • Thermogravimetric analyser NETZSCH 449 F3 Jupiter®
  • NETZSCH QMS 403 Aëolos Quadro mass spectrometer
  • FRITSCH ANALYSETTE 22 MicroTec plus particle sizer
  • Aerosol generator TSI 3079
  • TSI 379020A dilution unit
  • Dekati ejection dilution unit

More detailed information about these devices can be found in the list of equipment.

Selected implemented projects:

  • TAČR, no. TJ01000331 "Reduction of the fine particles concentration with using active temperature stabilisation in the flue gases of small sources" (2018-2019).

Selected publications and results:

  • POLÁČIK, J.; POSPÍŠIL, J.; ŠNAJDÁREK, L. Size Distribution of Particulate Matter Emitted During Controlled Temperature Rise of Redwood Sample. TOP 2017 Proceedings of abstract. Bratislava: Slovenská technická univerzita v Bratislave, 2017. p. 60-60. ISBN: 978-80-227-4731-8.
  • POLÁČIK, J.; POSPÍŠIL, J.; ŠNAJDÁREK, L.; SITEK, T. Influence of temperature on the production and size distribution of fine particles released from beech wood samples. In XXI. International Scientific Conference - The Application of Experimental and Numerical Methods in Fluid Mechanics and Energy 2018 (AEaNMiFMaE-2018). MATEC Web of Conferences. 168. 2018. p. 1-9. ISSN: 2261-236X.
  • ŠPILÁČEK, M.; POLÁČIK, J.; POSPÍŠIL, J.; ŠNAJDÁREK, L.; SITEK, T. Fine Particles Emission from Controlled Combustion of Beech Wood in Laboratory Conditions. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING TRANSACTIONS, 2018, vol. 70, no. 1, p. 1945-1950. ISSN: 2283-9216, DOI:10.3303/CET1870325.
  • POLÁČIK, J.; ŠNAJDÁREK, L.; ŠPILÁČEK, M.; POSPÍŠIL, J.; SITEK, T. Particulate Matter Produced by Micro-Scale Biomass Combustion in an Oxygen-Lean Atmosphere. ENERGIES, 2018, vol. 11, no. 12, p. 1-10. ISSN: 1996-1073, DOI:10.3390/EN11123359 [IF 2,676].
  • SCHÜLLEROVÁ, B.; POLÁČIK, J.; ADAMEC, V.; HRABOVÁ, K.; POSPÍŠIL, J. Influence of temperature parameters on the production of fine particle distribution during the biomass combustion. In 18th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Geoconference SGEM 2018. Conference Proceeding. Volume 18. International multidisciplinary geoconference SGEM. 2018. p. 307-314. ISBN: 978-619-7408-70-6. ISSN: 1314-2704.
  • SITEK, T.; POSPÍŠIL, J.; POLÁČIK, J.; ŠPILÁČEK, M.; VARBANOV, P. Fine combustion particles released during combustion of unit mass of beechwood. RENEWABLE ENERGY, 2019, roč. 140, č. 1, s. 390-396. ISSN: 0960-1481.

Selected Master’s and Bachelor’s theses

In the implementation of research and development activities, we try to cooperate with Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students, where the result of cooperation are quality diploma theses. When working on their theses, students have the opportunity to use the facilities and equipment of the laboratory, to participate in the implementation of research projects and to gain a range of practical knowledge:

  • KOŠŤÁL, J. Vliv provozních parametrů kotle na přítomnost jemných částic ve spalinách. Brno: Vysoké učení technické v Brně, Fakulta strojního inženýrství, 2017. 93 s. Vedoucí diplomové práce doc. Ing. Jiří Pospíšil, Ph.D..
  • HÁJEK, O. Jemné částice emitované při laboratorním spalování biomasy. Brno: Vysoké učení technické v Brně, Fakulta strojního inženýrství, 2018. 55 s. Vedoucí bakalářské práce doc. Ing. Jiří Pospíšil, Ph.D..
  • SITEK, T. Ultrajemné částice generované spalovacím procesem. Brno: Vysoké učení technické v Brně, Fakulta strojního inženýrství, 2018. 89 s. Vedoucí diplomové práce doc. Ing. Jiří Pospíšil, Ph.D.


doc. Ing. Jiří Pospíšil, Ph.D.
Energy Institute, FME BUT
tel.: +420 541 142 581