, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 1-15

PM2.5 and PM10 Concentrations from the Qalabotjha Low-Smoke Fuels Macro-Scale Experiment in South Africa

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This article presents results from the particulate monitoringcampaign conducted at Qalabotjha in South Africa during the winter of 1997. Combustion of D-grade domestic coal and low-smoke fuels were compared in a residential neighborhood to evaluate the extent of air quality improvement by switchinghousehold cooking and heating fuels.Comparisons are drawn between the gravimetric results from the two types of filter substrates (Teflon-membrane and quartz-fiber) as well as between the integrated and continuous samplers. It is demonstrated that the quartz-fiber filters reported 5 to 10% greater particulate mass than the Teflon-membrane filters, mainly due to the adsorption of organic gases onto the quartz-fiber filters. Due to heating of sampling stream to 50 °C in the TEOM continuous sampler and the high volatile content of the samples, approximately 15% of the particulate mass was lost during sampling.The USEPA 24-hr PM2.5 and PM10 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) of 65 μg m-3 and 150 μg m-3, respectively, were exceeded on several occasions during the 30-day field campaign. Average PMconcentrations are highest when D-grade domestic coal was used, and lowest between day 11 and day 20 of the experiment when a majority of the low-smoke fuels were phased in. Source impacts from residential coal combustion are also found to be influenced by changes in meteorology, especially wind velocity.PM2.5 and PM10 mass, elements, water-soluble cations (sodium, potassium, and ammonium), anions (chloride, nitrate, and sulfate), as well as organic and elemental carbonwere measured on 15 selected days during the field campaign. PM2.5 constituted more than 85% of PM10 at three Qalabotjha residential sites, and more than 70% of PM10 at the gradient site in the adjacent community of Villiers. Carbonaceous aerosol is by far the most abundant component, accounting for more than half of PM mass at the three Qalabotjha sites, and for more than a third of PM mass at the gradient site. Secondary aerosols such as sulfate, nitrate,and ammonium are also significant, constituting 8 to 12% of PM mass at the three Qalabotjha sites and 15 to 20% at the Villiers gradient site.