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Sandrini S.,CNR Institute of atmospheric Sciences and Climate | Fuzzi S.,CNR Institute of atmospheric Sciences and Climate | Piazzalunga A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Prati P.,University of Genoa | And 28 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2014

This paper analyses elemental (EC), organic (OC) and total carbon (TC) concentration in PM2.5 and PM10 samples collected over the last few years within several national and European projects at 37 remote, rural, urban, and traffic sites across the Italian peninsula.The purpose of the study is to obtain a picture of the spatial and seasonal variability of these aerosol species in Italy, and an insight into sources, processes and effects of meteorological conditions.OC and EC showed winter maxima and summer minima at urban and rural locations and an opposite behaviour at remote high altitude sites, where they increase during the warm period due to the rising of the Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL). The seasonal averages of OC are higher during winter compared to summer at the rural sites in the Po Valley (from 1.4 to 3.5 times), opposite to what usually occurs at rural locations, where OC increases during the warm period. This denotes the marked influence of urban areas on the surrounding rural environment in this densely populated region.The different types of sites exhibit marked differences in the average concentrations of carbonaceous aerosol and OC/EC ratio. This ratio is less sensitive to atmospheric processing than OC and EC concentrations, and hence more representative of different source types. Remote locations are characterised by the lowest levels of OC and especially EC, with OC/EC ratios ranging from 13 to 20, while the maximum OC and EC concentrations are observed at road-traffic influenced urban sites, where the OC/EC ratio ranges between 1 and 3. The highest urban impacts of OC and EC relative to remote and rural background sites occur in the Po Valley, especially in the city of Milan, which has the highest concentrations of PM and TC and low values of the OC/EC ratio. •We compared OC and EC data from different sites across the Italian Peninsula.•OC and EC concentration maxima occur during winter and minima during summer at all except remote sites.•Higher OC levels characterize the Po Valley compared to the rest of Italy both during summer and winter.•Biomass burning for residential heating strongly affects winter OC concentrations in the Po Valley.•Carbonaceous matter contribution to PM2.5 ranges between 37% at rural and 47% at traffic sites, on an annual basis. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Vicente E.D.,University of Aveiro | Duarte M.A.,University of Aveiro | Calvo A.I.,University of Leon | Nunes T.F.,University of Aveiro | And 6 more authors.
Atmospheric Research | Year: 2015

Wood combustion experiments were carried out in a Portuguese woodstove to determine the effects of biofuel type, ignition technique, biomass load and cleavage, as well as secondary air supply, on the chemical composition of particles (PM10). Two typical wood fuels in the Iberian Peninsula were tested: pine (Pinus pinaster), a softwood, and beech (Fagus sylvatica), a hardwood. PM10 samples were analysed for organic and elemental carbon (OC and EC), levoglucosan and 56 elements. Total carbon (TC) represented 54-73wt.% of the particulate mass emitted during the combustion process, regardless of wood species burned or operating condition tested. The carbonaceous component of PM10 was dominated by OC. The OC content of PM10 was higher when higher loads were fed into the combustion chamber, for both fuels. EC represented from 8 to 35wt.% of the particulate mass. OC/EC ranged from 1.1 to 6.1 (avg. 3.0±1.8) for pine combustion and from 1.1 to 3.4 (avg. 2.0±0.8) for beech combustion. The lowest OC/EC ratios for both woods were observed for ignition from the top. Levoglucosan was found in all samples, representing from 3.7 to 7.5wt.% and from 4.2 to 8.9wt.% of PM10 emitted from the combustion of pine and beech, respectively. The use of low loads of fuel generated high amounts of levoglucosan either for pine or beech. Altogether, trace elements obtained by ICP-MS and ICP-AES comprised from 0.46wt.% to 1.41wt.% and from 0.87wt.% to 2.36wt.% of the PM10 mass for pine and beech combustion, respectively. Among elements, K, Ca, Na, Mg, Fe and Al contributed to more than 75% of the total ICP-MS mass. Potassium was the major element in almost all PM10 samples. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source


Vicente E.D.,University of Aveiro | Duarte M.A.,University of Aveiro | Tarelho L.A.C.,University of Aveiro | Nunes T.F.,University of Aveiro | And 5 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2015

Seven fuels (four types of wood pellets and three agro-fuels) were tested in an automatic pellet stove (9.5 kWth) in order to determine emission factors (EFs) of gaseous compounds, such as carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4), formaldehyde (HCHO), and total organic carbon (TOC). Particulate matter (PM10) EFs and the corresponding chemical compositions for each fuel were also obtained. Samples were analysed for organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC), anhydrosugars and 57 chemical elements. The fuel type clearly affected the gaseous and particulate emissions. The CO EFs ranged from 90.9 ± 19.3 (pellets type IV) to 1480 ± 125 mg MJ-1 (olive pit). Wood pellets presented the lowest TOC emission factor among all fuels. HCHO and CH4 EFs ranged from 1.01 ± 0.11 to 36.9 ± 6.3 mg MJ-1 and from 0.23 ± 0.03 to 28.7 ± 5.7 mg MJ-1, respectively. Olive pit was the fuel with highest emissions of these volatile organic compounds. The PM10 EFs ranged from 26.6 ± 3.14 to 169 ± 23.6 mg MJ-1. The lowest PM10 emission factor was found for wood pellets type I (fuel with low ash content), whist the highest was observed during the combustion of an agricultural fuel (olive pit). The OC content of PM10 ranged from 8 wt.% (pellets type III) to 29 wt.% (olive pit). Variable EC particle mass fractions, ranging from 3 wt.% (olive pit) to 47 wt.% (shell of pine nuts), were also observed. The carbonaceous content of particulate matter was lower than that reported previously during the combustion of several wood fuels in traditional woodstoves and fireplaces. Levoglucosan was the most abundant anhydrosugar, comprising 0.02-3.03 wt.% of the particle mass. Mannosan and galactosan were not detected in almost all samples. Elements represented 11-32 wt.% of the PM10 mass emitted, showing great variability depending on the type of biofuel used. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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