Characterization of the settleable and suspended particles to solve an air quality problem

Autores: Pallares, S.|Gomez, E.T.|Sanfeliu, T.

Fuente: Fresenius environmental bulletin
17 (10A), 1565-1576 Sp. Iss.

The main objective of this study is to characterise the settleable and suspended air particles of an industrialized area close to a population centre as a result of the complaints lodged by citizens to the town council of this locality. An exhaustive control of the levels of particles was performed using a PS Standard Britannic captor and a model PSI high precision Retsch cascade impactor which is a seven-stage cascade impactor mounted on a standard low-volume air sampler. Then, air samples were analysed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) to know the structure, morphology and composition of the particulate matter and to identify their sources of origin. Regarding the aerosol collected by the cascade impactor, the highest values were located in the range of fine particles (50% of particulate matter was distributed in the particle range of 1 to 4 mu m, and 70% in particles lower than 4 pm). On the other hand, the main components identified in the samples were mineral particles originating from natural emission and the ceramic industry, glass particles and carbonaceous amorphous matter (mainly carbon). plus small quantities of S, Ca and Na from combustion processes (traffic, fossil fuel combustion, high-temperature industrial processes). According to the mineralogical analysis, quartz, calcite and illite/mica are the most common compounds in samples, but dolomite, K-feldspar, plagioclase and kaolinite/chlorite are also common. The mineralogy composition of the atmospheric particulate samples obtained in the study area was compared with two other areas to evaluate the influence of industries based on mineral raw materials.

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