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    Identification and source attribution of organic compounds in ultrafine particles near Frankfurt International Airport
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : European Geosciences Union, 2021) Ungeheuer, Florian; van Pinxteren, Dominik; Vogel, Alexander L.
    Analysing the composition of ambient ultrafine particles (UFPs) is a challenging task due to the low mass and chemical complexity of small particles, yet it is a prerequisite for the identification of particle sources and the assessment of potential health risks. Here, we show the molecular characterization of UFPs, based on cascade impactor (Nano-MOUDI) samples that were collected at an air quality monitoring station near one of Europe's largest airports, in Frankfurt, Germany. At this station, particle-size-distribution measurements show an enhanced number concentration of particles smaller than 50 nm during airport operating hours. We sampled the lower UFP fraction (0.010-0.018, 0.018-0.032, 0.032-0.056 classCombining double low lineinline-formula/m) when the air masses arrived from the airport. We developed an optimized filter extraction procedure using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) for compound separation and a heated electrospray ionization (HESI) source with an Orbitrap high-resolution mass spectrometer (HRMS) as a detector for organic compounds. A non-Target screening detected classCombining double low lineinline-formulag1/4200/ organic compounds in the UFP fraction with sample-To-blank ratios larger than 5. We identified the largest signals as homologous series of pentaerythritol esters (PEEs) and trimethylolpropane esters (TMPEs), which are base stocks of aircraft lubrication oils. We unambiguously attribute the majority of detected compounds to jet engine lubrication oils by matching retention times, high-resolution and accurate mass measurements, and comparing tandem mass spectrometry (MS classCombining double low lineinline-formula2/) fragmentation patterns between both ambient samples and commercially available jet oils. For each UFP stage, we created molecular fingerprints to visualize the complex chemical composition of the organic fraction and their average carbon oxidation state. These graphs underline the presence of the homologous series of PEEs and TMPEs and the appearance of jet oil additives (e.g.Tricresyl phosphate, TCP). Targeted screening of TCP confirmed the absence of the harmful tri-iortho/i isomer, while we identified a thermal transformation product of TMPE-based lubrication oil (trimethylolpropane phosphate, TMP-P). Even though a quantitative determination of the identified compounds is limited, the presented method enables the qualitative detection of molecular markers for jet engine lubricants in UFPs and thus strongly improves the source apportionment of UFPs near airports./p. © 2021 BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.
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    A phenomenology of new particle formation (NPF) at 13 European sites
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : European Geosciences Union, 2021) Bousiotis, Dimitrios; Pope, Francis D.; Beddows, David C. S.; Dall'Osto, Manuel; Massling, Andreas; Nøjgaard, Jakob Klenø; Nordstrøm, Claus; Niemi, Jarkko V.; Portin, Harri; Petäjä, Tuukka; Perez, Noemi; Alastuey, Andrés; Querol, Xavier; Kouvarakis, Giorgos; Mihalopoulos, Nikos; Vratolis, Stergios; Eleftheriadis, Konstantinos; Wiedensohler, Alfred; Weinhold, Kay; Merkel, Maik; Tuch, Thomas; Harrison, Roy M.
    New particle formation (NPF) events occur almost everywhere in the world and can play an important role as a particle source. The frequency and characteristics of NPF events vary spatially, and this variability is yet to be fully understood. In the present study, long-term particle size distribution datasets (minimum of 3 years) from 13 sites of various land uses and climates from across Europe were studied, and NPF events, deriving from secondary formation and not traffic-related nucleation, were extracted and analysed. The frequency of NPF events was consistently found to be higher at rural background sites, while the growth and formation rates of newly formed particles were higher at roadsides (though in many cases differences between the sites were small), underlining the importance of the abundance of condensable compounds of anthropogenic origin found there. The growth rate was higher in summer at all rural background sites studied. The urban background sites presented the highest uncertainty due to greater variability compared to the other two types of site. The origin of incoming air masses and the specific conditions associated with them greatly affect the characteristics of NPF events. In general, cleaner air masses present higher probability for NPF events, while the more polluted ones show higher growth rates. However, different patterns of NPF events were found, even at sites in close proximity (<ĝ€¯200ĝ€¯km), due to the different local conditions at each site. Region-wide events were also studied and were found to be associated with the same conditions as local events, although some variability was found which was associated with the different seasonality of the events at two neighbouring sites. NPF events were responsible for an increase in the number concentration of ultrafine particles of more than 400ĝ€¯% at rural background sites on the day of their occurrence. The degree of enhancement was less at urban sites due to the increased contribution of other sources within the urban environment. It is evident that, while some variables (such as solar radiation intensity, relative humidity, or the concentrations of specific pollutants) appear to have a similar influence on NPF events across all sites, it is impossible to predict the characteristics of NPF events at a site using just these variables, due to the crucial role of local conditions. © Author(s) 2021.
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    Measurement report: Balloon-borne in situ profiling of Saharan dust over Cyprus with the UCASS optical particle counter
    (Katlenburg-Lindau : European Geosciences Union, 2021) Kezoudi, Maria; Tesche, Matthias; Smith, Helen; Tsekeri, Alexandra; Baars, Holger; Dollner, Maximilian; Estellés, Víctor; Bühl, Johannes; Weinzierl, Bernadett; Ulanowski, Zbigniew; Müller, Detlef; Amiridis, Vassilis
    This paper presents measurements of mineral dust concentration in the diameter range from 0.4 to 14.0 µm with a novel balloon-borne optical particle counter, the Universal Cloud and Aerosol Sounding System (UCASS). The balloon launches were coordinated with ground-based active and passive remote-sensing observations and airborne in situ measurements with a research aircraft during a Saharan dust outbreak over Cyprus from 20 to 23 April 2017. The aerosol optical depth at 500 nm reached values up to 0.5 during that event over Cyprus, and particle number concentrations were as high as 50 cm−3 for the diameter range between 0.8 and 13.9 µm. Comparisons of the total particle number concentration and the particle size distribution from two cases of balloon-borne measurements with aircraft observations show reasonable agreement in magnitude and shape despite slight mismatches in time and space. While column-integrated size distributions from balloon-borne measurements and ground-based remote sensing show similar coarse-mode peak concentrations and diameters, they illustrate the ambiguity related to the missing vertical information in passive sun photometer observations. Extinction coefficient inferred from the balloon-borne measurements agrees with those derived from coinciding Raman lidar observations at height levels with particle number concentrations smaller than 10 cm−3 for the diameter range from 0.8 to 13.9 µm. An overestimation of the UCASS-derived extinction coefficient of a factor of 2 compared to the lidar measurement was found for layers with particle number concentrations that exceed 25 cm−3, i.e. in the centre of the dust plume where particle concentrations were highest. This is likely the result of a variation in the refractive index and the shape and size dependency of the extinction efficiency of dust particles along the UCASS measurements. In the future, profile measurements of the particle number concentration and particle size distribution with the UCASS could provide a valuable addition to the measurement capabilities generally used in field experiments that are focussed on the observation of coarse aerosols and clouds.