Platinum, palladium, and rhodium deposition to the Prunus laurus cerasus leaf surface as an indicator of the vehicular traffic pollution in the city of Varese area: an easy and reliable method to detect PGEs released from automobile catalytic converters.

Dipartimento di Biologia Strutturale e Funzionale, Università dell'Insubria, Varese, Italy.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research (Impact Factor: 2.76). 06/2009; 17(3):665-73. DOI: 10.1007/s11356-009-0166-9
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The widespread use of some platinum group elements as catalysts to minimize emission of pollutants from combustion engines produced a constantly growing increase of the concentration of these elements in the environment; their potential toxicological properties explain the increasing interest in routine easy monitoring. We have found that leaves of Prunus laurus cerasus are efficient collectors of particulate with a dimension <60-80 mum, and a simple and reliable procedure was developed to reveal traces of platinum, palladium, and rhodium released from automotive catalysts. The analysis of the dust deposited on the foliage is a direct indicator of traffic pollution.
Leaves of P. laurus cerasus were washed by sonication in a mixture of water and 2-propanol and the washings, to be discarded, were separated by centrifugation to yield typically 0.05-1.2 g of dust that, after mineralization, was directly submitted for atomic absorption analysis.
Comparison of the 2007 and 2004-2005 results showed a dramatic reduction of the platinum levels and revealed that palladium is now the main component of this traffic-related pollution.
The results are consistent with the increasing diffusion of cars with a diesel engine whose catalysts are made up of Pt and/or Pd alone, and gives a significant insight into the recent evolution in catalyst design that replaces platinum for palladium.
The proposed analytical procedure is simple, with short preparation times, and greatly reduces matrix effects so that atomic absorption spectroscopy can easily detect the three noble metals at the ng/g level in the dust.
The results clearly show that Pd concentrations have increased over time, and must be cause for concern.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study assessed the concentrations of platinum (Pt) and palladium (Pd) in surface sediments and sedimentary cores collected from the Pearl River Estuary with a view of evaluating the distribution, background levels, possible sources, and contamination level of anthropogenic Pt and Pd. Thirty-six samples of surface sediments and 12 samples from sedimentary cores were collected. Al(2)O(3) was analyzed on fused glass disks by X-ray fluorescence spectrometer. Heavy metal elements were measured by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Pt and Pd were separated from the sample matrix by anion exchange chromatography and subsequent solvent extraction after samples had been digested in Carius tubes using aqua regia. The analysis of Pt and Pd was performed by isotopic dilution-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Pt and Pd concentrations in surface sediments were 0.28-2.11 and 0.39-38.30 ng/g, respectively, and Pt and Pd concentrations in sedimentary cores were 0.19-1.18 and 0.15-1.76 ng/g, respectively. Background values of Pt and Pd were 0.20-1.17 and 0.10-1.34 ng/g, respectively. The spatial distribution of the enrichment factor differed between Pt and Pd in surface sediments. Down-core variations in Pt, Pd, and other heavy metal elements were similar in all cases and were related to sediment type. Some of the Pt and Pt in surface samples were derived from anthropogenic emissions. Pt and Pd were delivered to the sediment by fluvial input. In addition to vehicle exhaust catalysts, Pt and Pd were derived from other sources (e.g., industrial process). An important post-burial remobilization process of Pt and Pd is likely to be particle mixing by billows caused by typhoon.
    Environmental Science and Pollution Research 11/2011; 19(4):1305-14. · 2.76 Impact Factor
  • Toxic Effects of Nanomaterials, Edited by Haseeb Ahmad Khan, Ibrahim Abdulwahid Arif, 01/2012: chapter Nanoparticle-Induced Toxicity: Focus on Plants: pages 3-27; Bentham Science., ISBN: 978-1-60805-283-7
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Linguistic rules in natural language are useful and consistent with human way of thinking. They are very important in multi-criteria decision making due to their interpretability. In this paper, our discussions concentrate on extracting linguistic rules from data sets. In the end, we firstly analyze how to extract complex linguistic data summaries based on fuzzy logic. Then, we formalize linguistic rules based on complex linguistic data summaries, in which, the degree of confidence of linguistic rules from a data set can be explained by linguistic quantifiers and its linguistic truth from the fuzzy logical point of view. In order to obtain a linguistic rule with a higher degree of linguistic truth, a genetic algorithm is used to optimize the number and parameters of membership functions of linguistic values. Computational results show that the proposed method is an alternative method for extracting linguistic rules with linguistic truth from data sets.
    Neurocomputing. 01/2012; 78:48-54.