Source Apportionment of Fine (PM1.8) and Ultrafine (PM0.1) Airborne Particulate Matter during a Severe Winter Pollution Episode

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616, USA.
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.48). 02/2009; 43(2):272-9. DOI: 10.1021/es800400m
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Size-resolved samples of airborne particulate matter (PM) collected during a severe winter pollution episode at three sites in the San Joaquin Valley of California were extracted with organic solvents and analyzed for detailed organic compounds using GC-MS. Six particle size fractions were characterized with diameter (Dp) < 1.8 microm; the smallest size fraction was 0.056 < Dp < 0.1 microm which accounts for the majority of the mass in the ultrafine (PM0.1) size range. Source profiles for ultrafine particles developed during previous studies were applied to the measurements at each sampling site to calculate source contributions to organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) concentrations. Ultrafine EC concentrations ranged from 0.03 microg m(-3) during the daytime to 0.18 microg m(-3) during the nighttime. Gasoline fuel, diesel fuel, and lubricating oil combustion products accounted for the majority of the ultrafine EC concentrations, with relatively minor contributions from biomass combustion and meat cooking. Ultrafine OC concentrations ranged from 0.2 microg m(-3) during the daytime to 0.8 microg m(-3) during the nighttime. Wood combustion was found to be the largest source of ultrafine OC. Meat cooking was also identified as a significant potential source of PM0.1 mass but further study is required to verify the contributions from this source. Gasoline fuel, diesel fuel, and lubricating oil combustion products made minor contributions to PM0.1 OC mass. Total ultrafine particulate matter concentrations were dominated by contributions from wood combustion and meat cooking during the current study. Future inhalation exposure studies may wish to target these sources as potential causes of adverse health effects.

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