Aging of combustion particles in the atmosphere — Results from a field study in Zürich
At different locations in Zürich (urban and suburban area) ambient aerosol has been measured by a variety of methods. Total mass concentration, black carbon mass concentration, size distribution, Fuchs surface and photoelectric charging of particles (as a measure for the PAH concentration) have been determined. As a reference for “fresh” aerosol, measurements have also been carried out in a car parking garage. By comparing the data obtained at different locations and different times of the day aging processes can be investigated. All measured signals show significant peaks during the rush-hours, indicating that the majority of the particles arise from automotive traffic. Aging is expressed by decreasing number concentrations, increasing diameter (coagulation) and decreasing black carbon and PAH content of the particles. The decrease in PAH and black carbon fraction may be due to mixing of the aerosol with non-combustion particles or by condensation of material from the gas phase on the particle; the decrease in PAH concentration may also be due to degradation of the PAHs.
KeywordsPAHs Black Carbon Mass Concentration Number Concentration Carbon Fraction
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