Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry

, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 247–257 | Cite as

Applying size segregation to relate the surrounding aerosol pollution to its source

  • Irena GrgićEmail author
  • Janja Turšič
  • Axel Berner


Size segregated sampling of aerosol particles at the coal-fired power station Šoštanj, Slovenia was performed by a newly developed system. In addition, simultaneous sampling of particles was performed at two locations, Velenje and Veliki vrh, chosen on the basis of long term monitoring of SO2 in the influential area of power plant. The signature of the power plant (e.g. characteristic size distributions of some typical trace elements) was identified. For elements, like As, Mo, Cd and Ga, which are typical for coal combustion, the highest concentrations were observed in the size range between 1 and 4 μm. For Se and sometimes for Ga two modes were identified, first between 0.1 and 0.5 μm and second between 1 and 4 μm. Ratios between the average concentrations of selected elements in fine and coarse particles collected at Veliki vrh (the most influenced location) and Velenje (usually not influenced by the thermo power station) were significantly higher than 1 in the case of Mo and Se for coarse and fine size range, while for As the ratio was higher than 1 for the coarse fraction. Consequently, Mo, Se and As were found as the most important tracers for the emissions from the investigated source. On the basis of the ratios between the concentrations of elements measured in particles at low and high SO2 concentrations at Veliki vrh, Cd was shown to be a typical tracer as well. Our results definitely showed that size segregated measurements of particles at the source and in the influenced area give more precise information on the influence of source to the surrounding region. It was found that patterns of size distributions for typical trace elements observed at the source are found also in the influenced area, i.e. Veliki vrh.


Combustion particles Size-segregated composition Source signature Trace elements 



The authors are gratefully acknowledged to the financial support from the Slovenian Research Agency (Contracts L1-6100-0104 and P1-0034-0104) and to the Slovenia’s thermo-power plant. We wish to thank Dr. Igor Čuhalev and Jaroslav Škantar from the Environmental Department, ElectroInstitute Milan Vidmar, Ljubljana, Slovenia for the help during the field measurements, Dr. Bojan Budič from National Institute of Chemistry, Slovenia for performing chemical analysis and Petra Krsnik from Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for creating map of sampling sites.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Analytical ChemistryNational Institute of ChemistryLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Environmental Agency of the Republic of SloveniaLjubljanaSlovenia
  3. 3.Faculty of PhysicsUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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