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Barcelona, Spain

Moreno T.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Pandolfi M.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Querol X.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Lavin J.,Consejeria de Medio Ambiente de Cantabria | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2011

Purpose: Industrial emissions can raise urban background levels of inhalable Mn particles in an order of magnitude above normal, eclipsing the contribution made by natural sources and traffic. Methods: The source of such emissions can be identified using a multidisciplinary approach which integrates ICP-MS chemical analyses of PM10 and PM2.5 samples with positive matrix factorization source apportionment modelling, scanning electron microscopy and meteorological data. Results: We apply this methodology to data from Santander (N Spain), where morning Mn-bearing industrial contamination sourcing from the SW is returned towards the city by afternoon NE sea breezes. This wind direction reversal carries the industrial pollution plume inland, detectably raising urban background levels of MnPM10 in the town of Torrelavega 20 km away. Industrially sourced daily urban background Mn levels at Santander reach >1,000 ng/m3, average >150 ng/m3. Conclusions: We demonstrate the anomalous nature of such concentrations by comparing them with >2,500 PM10 chemical analyses of ambient PM10 from other sites in Spain which show how current background Mn levels in urban air typically average only 10 ng/m3, rising to 20-25 ng/m3 in city traffic sites. Daily levels of atmospheric Mn PM10 only rarely exceed 50 ng/m3, usually during desert dust intrusions which, in extreme cases (such as Canary Islands "calima" events from Africa) can produce Mn concentrations of 100-125 ng/m3. © 2010 Springer-Verlag. Source


Moreno T.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Karanasiou A.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Amato F.,TNO | Lucarelli F.,CIEMAT | And 12 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2013

A multi-analytical approach to chemical analysis of inhalable urban atmospheric particulate matter (PM), integrating particle induced X-ray emission, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry/atomic emission spectroscopy, chromatography and thermal-optical transmission methods, allows comparison between hourly (Streaker) and 24-h (High volume sampler) data and consequently improved PM chemical characterization and source identification. In a traffic hot spot monitoring site in Madrid (Spain) the hourly data reveal metallic emissions (Zn, Cu, Cr, Fe) and resuspended mineral dust (Ca, Al, Si) to be closely associated with traffic flow. These pollutants build up during the day, emphasizing evening rush hour peaks, but decrease (especially their coarser fraction PM2.5-10) after nocturnal road washing. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) analysis of a large Streaker database additionally reveals two other mineral dust components (siliceous and sodic), marine aerosol, and minor, transient events which we attribute to biomass burning (K-rich) and industrial (incinerator?) Zn, Pb plumes. Chemical data on 24-h filters allows the measurement of secondary inorganic compounds and carbon concentrations and offers PMF analysis based on a limited number of samples but using fuller range of trace elements which, in the case of Madrid, identifies the continuing minor presence of a coal combustion source traced by As, Se, Ge and Organic Carbon. This coal component is more evident in the city air after the change to the winter heating season in November. Trace element data also allow use of discrimination diagrams such as V/Rb vs. La/Ce and ternary plots to illustrate variations in atmospheric chemistry (such as the effect of Ce-emissions from catalytic converters), with Madrid being an example of a city with little industrial pollution, recently reduced coal emissions, but serious atmospheric contamination by traffic emissions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Moreno T.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Kojima T.,Kumamoto University | Amato F.,TNO | Lucarelli F.,University of Florence | And 7 more authors.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2013

The regular eastward drift of transboundary aerosol intrusions from the Asian mainland into the NW Pacific region has a pervasive impact on air quality in Japan, especially during springtime. Analysis of 24-h filter samples with Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES) and Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), and hourly Streaker with Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) samples collected continuously for six weeks reveal the chemistry of successive waves of natural mineral desert dust ("Kosa) and metalliferous sulphatic pollutants arriving in western Japan during spring 2011. The main aerosol sources recognised by Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) analysis of Streaker data are mineral dust and fresh sea salt (both mostly in the coarser fraction PM2.5-10), As-bearing sulphatic aerosol (PM 0.1-2.5), metalliferous sodic particulate matter (PM) interpreted as aged, industrially contaminated marine aerosol, and ZnCu-bearing aerosols. Whereas mineral dust arrivals are typically highly transient, peaking over a few hours, sulphatic intrusions build up and decline more slowly, and are accompanied by notable rises in ambient concentrations of metallic trace elements such as Pb, As, Zn, Sn and Cd. The magnitude of the loss in regional air quality due to the spread and persistence of pollution from mainland Asia is especially clear when cleansing oceanic air advects westward across Japan, removing the continental influence and reducing concentrations of the undesirable metalliferous pollutants by over 90%. Our new chemical database, especially the Streaker data, demonstrates the rapidly changing complexity of ambient air inhaled during these transboundary events, and implicates Chinese coal combustion as the main source of the anthropogenic aerosol component. © Author(s) 2013. Source


Moreno T.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Querol X.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Alastuey A.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | de la Rosa J.,University of Huelva | And 7 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2010

The emission of trace metal pollutants by industry and transport takes place on a scale large enough to alter atmospheric chemistry and results in measurable differences between the urban background of inhalable particulate matter (PM) in different towns. This is particularly well demonstrated by the technogenic release into the atmosphere of V, Ni, and lanthanoid elements. We compare PM concentrations of these metals in large datasets from five industrial towns in Spain variously influenced by emissions from refinery, power station, shipping, stainless steel, ceramic tiles and brick-making. Increased La/Ce values in urban background inhalable PM, due to La-contamination from refineries and their residual products (fuel oils and petcoke), contrast with Ce-rich emissions from the ceramic related industry, and clearly demonstrate the value of this ratio as a sensitive and reliable tracer for many point source emissions. Similarly, anomalously high V/Ni values (>4) can detect the influence of nearby high-V petcoke and fuel oil combustion, although the use of this ratio in urban background PM is limited by overlapping values in natural and anthropogenic materials. Geochemical characterisation of urban background PM is a valuable compliment to the physical monitoring of aerosols widely employed in urban areas, especially given the relevance of trace metal inhalation to urban health issues. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source


Moreno T.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Querol X.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Alastuey A.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | Amato F.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Hazardous Materials | Year: 2010

We report on the effect of a major firework event on urban background atmospheric PM2.5 chemistry, using 24-h data collected over 8 weeks at two sites in Girona, Spain. The firework pollution episode (Sant Joan fiesta on 23rd June 2008) measured in city centre parkland increased local background PM2.5 concentrations as follows: Sr (x86), K (x26), Ba (x11), Co (x9), Pb (x7), Cu (x5), Zn (x4), Bi (x4), Mg (x4), Rb (x4), Sb (x3), P (x3), Ga (x2), Mn (x2), As (x2), Ti (x2) and SO4 2- (x2). Marked increases in these elements were also measured outside the park as the pollution cloud drifted over the city centre, and levels of some metals remained elevated above background for days after the event as a reservoir of metalliferous dust persisted within the urban area. Transient high-PM pollution episodes are a proven health hazard, made worse in the case of firework combustion because many of the elements released are both toxic and finely respirable, and because displays commonly take place in an already polluted urban atmosphere. © Elsevier B.V. Source

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