EPA Method 17 - Particulate Emissions

Method Overview

  • Isokinetic.
  • In-Stack filter.
  • "Condensible" particulates pass through the filter and condense in impingers. Can readily be combined with a CPM Method.
  • This method is applicable for the determination of PM emissions where the concentrations are known to be independent of temperature over the normal range of temperatures characteristic of emissions from a specified source category. It is intended to be used only when specified by an applicable subpart of the standards, and only within the applicable temperature limits (if specified), or when otherwise approved by the administrator.
  • This method is not applicable to stacks that contain liquid droplets or are saturated with water vapor.

Target Compounds

  • Particulate Matter (PM) - those substances retained in the sampling nozzle and on a filter

Performance Tips

  • Stack gas temperature used to keep filters warm. Pre-heating for a minimum of twenty minutes in the stack (nozzle faced out of flow) can be required in order to minimize condensation of sulfates.
  • Do not use silicone grease - it can be soluble in the probe rinse and can bias the PM value high.
  • Run the train isokinetically.
  • Probe dryers (moisture weirs) may be required.
  • Shepherd hooks may be required in vertical entry ports.
  • Stainless steel nozzles should be used with great care, port scrapings can bias results high.


  • Acetone must be shipped as a hazardous material. Please call for IATA codes if you need them.
  • Samples may be shipped at ambient temperatures.
  • It may prove more economical to keep acetone rinses separate, ship other samples normally, and the acetone as hazardous.
  • Be sure to include a chain of custody for each shipping container


  • This "older" particulate emissions test method was the EPA's first alternative to Method 5.
  • This test method can not be used if the stack gas temperature exceeds 320oF.
  • This method is more of a "filterable" method using less expensive equipment than Method 5. It does not necessarily require:
    • Heated probes;
    • Glass impingers;
    • etc.


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