Time-resolved monitoring of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons adsorbed on atmospheric particles


Real-time monitoring of individual particles from atmospheric aerosols was performed by means of a specifically developed single-particle fluorescence spectrometer (SPFS). The observed fluorescence was assigned to particles bearing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). This assignment was supported by an intercomparison with classical speciation on filters followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. As compared with daily averaged data, our time-resolved approach provided information about the physicochemical dynamics of the particles. In particular, distinctions were made between background emissions related to heating, and traffic peaks during rush hours. Also, the evolution of the peak fluorescence wavelength provided an indication of the aging of the particles during the day.

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We acknowledge unvaluable experimental assistance from Francesco Battaglia, Elicio Délicado, and Pierre-Emmanuel Huguenot (État de Genève – DETA – SABRA). We also acknowledge funding by the Swiss National Science Foundation through the NCCR MUST (Molecular Ultrafast Science and Technology) Network. J.P. Wolf acknowledges support from the European Research Council ERC-2013-PoC, Grant 632156, « LIPBA ».

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Correspondence to Jérôme Kasparian.

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Responsible editor: Constantini Samara

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Sousa, G., Kiselev, D., Kasparian, J. et al. Time-resolved monitoring of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons adsorbed on atmospheric particles. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 19517–19523 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-9612-2

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  • Aerosols
  • Monitoring
  • Fluorescence
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Identification
  • Pollution
  • Real time