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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/31818

Title: Variability of carbonaceous aerosols in remote, rural, urban and industrial environments in Spain: implications for air quality policy
Authors: Querol, X.
Alados-Arboledas, Lucas
Titos Vela, Gloria
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: We interpret here the variability of levels of carbonaceous aerosols based on a 12 yr database from 78 monitoring stations across Spain specially compiled for this article. Data did not evidence any spatial trends of carbonaceous aerosols across the country. Conversely, results show marked differences in average concentrations from the cleanest, most remote sites (around 1 μg m−3 of non-mineral carbon (nmC), mostly made of organic carbon (OC) with very little elemental carbon (EC), around 0.1 μg m−3; OC / EC = 12–15), to the highly polluted major cities (8–10 μg m−3 of nmC; 3–4 μg m−3 of EC; 4–5 μg m−3 of OC; OC / EC = 1–2). Thus, urban (and very specific industrial) pollution was found to markedly increase levels of carbonaceous aerosols in Spain, with much lower impact of biomass burning and of biogenic emissions. Correlations between yearly averaged OC / EC and EC concentrations adjust very well to a potential equation (OC = 3.37 EC0.326, R2 = 0.8). A similar equation is obtained when including average concentrations obtained at other European sites (OC = 3.60EC0.491, R2 = 0.7). A clear seasonal variability in OC and EC concentrations was detected. Both OC and EC concentrations were higher during winter at the traffic and urban sites, but OC increased during the warmer months at the rural sites. Hourly equivalent black carbon (EBC) concentrations at urban sites accurately depict road traffic contributions, varying with distance from road, traffic volume and density, mixing-layer height and wind speed. Weekday urban rush-hour EBC peaks are mimicked by concentrations of primary gaseous emissions from road traffic, whereas a single midday peak is characteristic of remote and rural sites. Decreasing annual trends for carbonaceous aerosols were observed between 1999 and 2011 at a large number of stations, probably reflecting the impact of the EURO4 and EURO5 standards in reducing the diesel PM emissions. This has resulted in some cases in an increasing trend for NO2 / (OC + EC) ratios as these standards have been much less effective for the abatement of NOx exhaust emissions in passenger diesel cars. This study concludes that EC, EBC, and especially nmC and OC + EC are very good candidates for new air quality standards since they cover both emission impact and health-related issues.
Sponsorship: This study was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment of Spain, the Ministry of Economy and Competitivity (MINECO) of Spain and FEDER funds under the projects VAMOS (CGL2010-19464/CLI), PRISMA (CGL2012-39623-C02-01), GRACCIE (CSD 2007-00067), POLLINDUST (CGL2011-26259) and UHU (CGL2011- 28025); and by AGAUR-Generalitat de Catalunya (2009 SGR 00008) and LIFE + AIRUSE (LIFE11-ENV/ES/000584). The Montseny site forms part of the ACTRIS network (European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) project no. 262254), formerly EUSAAR (EUSAAR R113-CT-2006-026140). Funding was also received for the Andalucía sites from projects 2007-RNM027329 and 2011-RNM7800 (Department of Innovation Science and Enterprise, Andalusia Autonomous Government) M. C. Minguillón was funded by the JAE-Doc CSIC programme, co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).
Publisher: Copernicus Publications
Keywords: Light-absorption measurements
Secondary organic carbon
Thermal-optical method
Elemental carbon
Black carbon
Chemical composition
Particulate matter
Sampling artifacts
European cities
Diesel exhaust
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/31818
ISSN: 1680-7316
1680-7324
Rights : Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License
Citation: Querol, X.; et al. Variability of carbonaceous aerosols in remote, rural, urban and industrial environments in Spain: implications for air quality policy. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 13: 6185-6206 (2013). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/31818]
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