Regional Agency for Prevention and Environment ARPA

Bologna, Italy

Regional Agency for Prevention and Environment ARPA

Bologna, Italy

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Pietrogrande M.C.,University of Ferrara | Bacco D.,University of Ferrara | Bacco D.,Regional Agency for Prevention and Environment ARPA | Ferrari S.,Regional Agency for Prevention and Environment ARPA | And 4 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2016

The concentrations of organic and elemental carbon in PM2.5 aerosol samples were measured in two sites of Emilia Romagna (Po Valley, Northern Italy) in eight campaigns during different seasons from 2011 to 2014. Strong seasonality was observed with the highest OC concentrations during the cold periods (≈5.5 μg m-3) and the lowest in the warm months (≈2.7 μg m-3) as well as with higher EC levels in fall/winter (≈1.4 μg m-3) in comparison with spring/summer (≈0.6 μg m-3). Concerning spatial variability, there were no statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) between OC concentrations at the two sampling sites in each campaign, while the EC values were nearly twofold higher levels at the urban site than those at the rural one.Specific molecular markers were investigated to attempt the basic apportionment of OC by discriminating between the main emission sources of primary OC, such as fossil fuels burning - including traffic vehicle emission - residential wood burning, and bio-aerosol released from plants and microorganisms, and the atmospheric photo-oxidation processes generating OCsec. The investigated markers were low-molecular-weight carboxylic acids - to describe the contribution of secondary organic aerosol - anhydrosugars - to quantify primary emissions from biomass burning - bio-sugars - to qualitatively estimate biogenic sources - and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons - to differentiate among different combustion emissions.Using the levoglucosan tracer method, contribution of wood smoke to atmospheric OC concentration was computed. Wood burning accounts for 33% of OC in fall/winter and for 3% in spring/summer. A clear seasonal trend is also observed for the impact of secondary processes with higher contribution in the warm seasons (≈. 63%) in comparison with that in colder months (≈. 33%), that is consistent with enhanced solar radiation in spring/summer. © 2016 Elsevier B.V..


Belosi F.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Ferrari S.,Regional Agency for Prevention and Environment ARPA | Poluzzi V.,Regional Agency for Prevention and Environment ARPA | Santachiara G.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Prodi F.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association | Year: 2013

A commercial differential mobility particle sizer (DMPS), long and medium column DMA (Grimm Aerosol Technik L-DMA model 5.400; M-DMA model 5500), condensation particle counter (CPC, Grimm Aerosol Technik 5.403), and a fast mobility particle sizer (FMPS-TSI, model 3091), were deployed to determine the size distributions of ultrafine particles. Comparisons were performed using atmospheric aerosol, as well as laboratory aerosol generated by nebulizing Milli-Q water (Millipore Corporation) and a water suspension of Fe2O3 in a Collison type atomizer. Results show that the DMPS generally measured higher particle number concentrations than the FMPS, above all for atmospheric aerosol compared to laboratory generated aerosol. With regard to size distribution, in both the atmospheric and laboratory-generated aerosols, the FMPS always showed a small peak around 10 nm, which was not shown by the M-DMPS. The agreement of the particle number concentration between the DMPS and FMPS was better in the 25-116 nm range for atmospheric aerosol, and in the 10-65 nm range for laboratory-generated aerosols. Since these instruments are scheduled to be run for air quality measurements and not only aerosol research purposes, there is an urgent need to establish working protocols in compliance with requirements with ISO 15900 requirements. Epidemiological studies have shown that high ultrafine particulate concentrations are associated with an increase in mortality. Measuring exposure against mass alone is not sufficient, but it is also necessary to consider exposure against number concentration. Therefore, continuous measurements of aerosol size and number concentrations are important. This paper provides a comparison between two different nanoparticle size spectrometers widely used in air quality measurements. We found significantly different total number particle concentrations and size distributions in both laboratory-generated and atmospheric aerosols. Results show that the DMPS generally measured higher particle number concentrations than the FMPS. Since these instruments are scheduled to be run for air quality measurements and not only aerosol research purposes, there is an urgent need to establish working protocols in compliance with ISO 15900 requirements. © 2013 Copyright 2013 A&WMA.


Pietrogrande M.C.,University of Ferrara | Bacco D.,University of Ferrara | Bacco D.,Regional Agency for Prevention and Environment ARPA | Ferrari S.,Regional Agency for Prevention and Environment ARPA | And 5 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2015

This paper investigates the influence of wood combustion on PM in fall/winter that are the most favorable seasonal periods with presumed intense biomass burning for residential heating due to low temperatures. As a part of the Supersito project, nearly 650 PM2.5 samples were daily collected at urban and rural sites in Emilia Romagna (Northern Italy) in five intensive experimental campaigns throughout the years from 2011 to 2014. From specific compounds related to wood combustion a set of 58 organic compounds was determined, such as anhydrosugars, primary biological sugars, low-molecular-weight carboxylic acids, methoxylated phenols, PAHs and carbonaceous components (EC/OC). Levoglucosan was by far the most dominant anhydrosugar, both on a relative and an absolute basis (35-1043 ng m-3), followed by mannosan (7-121 ng m-3) and galactosan (4-52 ng m-3), indicating that wood burning for domestic heating is a diffuse regional source during the seasons studied. Different diagnostic ratios between anhydrosugars and methoxylated phenols were computed to discriminate the prevalent contribution of hardwood as combustion fuel. The investigated 19 high molecular weight PAHs were more abundant at the urban than at the rural site, with mean total value of 4.3 and 3.2 ng m-3 at MS and SP, respectively. The strong contribution of wood combustion to atmospheric PAHs was indicated by the positive correlation between levoglucosan and the most abundant PAHs (R2 = 0.71÷7;0.79) and individually with benzo(a)pyrene (R2 = 0.79). By using this correlation, it was estimated that wood burning contributed nearly 77% to BaP concentration in the winter months. Based on the ratio between levoglucosan and OC data, it could be concluded that the wood burning contributed about 35% to OC during the cold November-February periods and the contribution was similar at both sampling sites. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | Regional Agency for Prevention and Environment ARPA and University of Ferrara
Type: | Journal: The Science of the total environment | Year: 2016

The concentrations of organic and elemental carbon in PM2.5 aerosol samples were measured in two sites of Emilia Romagna (Po Valley, Northern Italy) in eight campaigns during different seasons from 2011 to 2014. Strong seasonality was observed with the highest OC concentrations during the cold periods ( 5.5 g m(-3)) and the lowest in the warm months ( 2.7 g m(-3)) as well as with higher EC levels in fall/winter ( 1.4 g m(-3)) in comparison with spring/summer ( 0.6 g m(-3)). Concerning spatial variability, there were no statistically significant difference (p<0.05) between OC concentrations at the two sampling sites in each campaign, while the EC values were nearly twofold higher levels at the urban site than those at the rural one. Specific molecular markers were investigated to attempt the basic apportionment of OC by discriminating between the main emission sources of primary OC, such as fossil fuels burning - including traffic vehicle emission - residential wood burning, and bio-aerosol released from plants and microorganisms, and the atmospheric photo-oxidation processes generating OCsec. The investigated markers were low-molecular-weight carboxylic acids - to describe the contribution of secondary organic aerosol - anhydrosugars - to quantify primary emissions from biomass burning - bio-sugars - to qualitatively estimate biogenic sources - and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons - to differentiate among different combustion emissions. Using the levoglucosan tracer method, contribution of wood smoke to atmospheric OC concentration was computed. Wood burning accounts for 33% of OC in fall/winter and for 3% in spring/summer. A clear seasonal trend is also observed for the impact of secondary processes with higher contribution in the warm seasons ( 63%) in comparison with that in colder months ( 33%), that is consistent with enhanced solar radiation in spring/summer.

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