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Source characterization of organic aerosols using Monte Carlo source apportionment of PAHs at two South Asian receptor sites
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
2011 (English)In: Atmospheric Environment, ISSN 1352-2310, Vol. 45, no 23, 3874-3881 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The quantification of source contributions is of key importance for proposing environmental mitigation strategies for particulate organic matter. Organic molecular tracer analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and n-alkanes was conducted on a set of winter samples from two regional receptor sites in South Asia: the Island of Hanimaadhoo (the Republic of Maldives) and a mountain top near Sinhagad (W. India). Monte Carlo source apportionment (MCSA) techniques were applied to the observed PAH ratios using profiles of a representative range of regional combustion sources from the literature to estimate the relative source contributions from petroleum combustion, coal combustion and biomass burning. One advantage of this methodology is the combined use of the mean and standard deviation of the diagnostic ratios to calculate probability distribution functions for the fractional contributions from petroleum, coal and biomass combustion. The results of this strategy indicate a higher input from coal combustion at the Hanimaadhoo site (32-43 +/- 21%) than the Sinhagad site (24-25 +/- 18%). The estimated biomass contribution for Sinhagad (53 +/- 22%) parallels previous radiocarbon-based source apportionment of elemental carbon at this location (54 +/- 3%). In Hanimaadhoo, the MCSA results indicate 34 +/- 20% biomass burning contribution compared to 41 +/- 5% by radiocarbon apportionment of EC. While the MCSA based on PAH ratio diagnostic distributions are less precise than the radiocarbon-based apportionment, it provides additional information of the relative contribution of two subgroups, coal and petroleum combustion, within the overall contribution from fossil fuel combustion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 45, no 23, 3874-3881 p.
Keyword [en]
PAH, Alkane, Monte Carlo, India, Particulate matter
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-66982DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.01.031ISI: 000292679500012OAI: diva2:470077
authorCount :3Available from: 2011-12-28 Created: 2011-12-22 Last updated: 2011-12-28Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, AugustGustafsson, Örjan
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