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Reduced Atmospheric Manganese in Montreal Following Removal of Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl (MMT)

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Abstract

Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT) was used between 1990 and 2003 as an antiknock agent and as an octane booster in Canadian unleaded gasoline. Its combustion leads to Mn emissions. The objective of this research was to examine the variations in atmospheric Mn in Montreal (Canada) from 2001 to 2007, covering the period prior (2001–2003) to and following (2005–2007) MMT use. Three sampling stations were selected because of their proximity to roads with widely differing and well-known traffic patterns. Filters from 2001 to 2007 were obtained from the Montreal Urban Community. The first sample of each month was selected, and Mn analysis was performed by neutron activation analysis. Total suspended particulates (TSP) was calculated by weighing the filters before and after dust collection. Results show a significant decrease of Mn over time at each station, whereas TSP decreased significantly in two stations. Comparing atmospheric Mn during and after the period of use of MMT 2001–2003 vs 2005–2007 showed a significant decrease at all stations. For TSP, only one station showed borderline significant decline between these two periods. Overall, between the two periods, Mn and TSP decreased by 39% and 17%, respectively. These data suggest that the combustion of MMT led to an increase of airborne Mn of approximately 22%. These findings should help in decision-making processes concerning the use of MMT in gasoline in other countries.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the University of Montreal.

Author information

Correspondence to Joseph Zayed.

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Joly, A., Lambert, J., Gagnon, C. et al. Reduced Atmospheric Manganese in Montreal Following Removal of Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl (MMT). Water Air Soil Pollut 219, 263–270 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-010-0704-6

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Keywords

  • MMT
  • Manganese
  • Atmospheric concentration
  • Total suspended particulates
  • Environmental contamination