Appraisal of measurement methods, chemical composition and sources of fine atmospheric particles over six different areas of Northern Belgium
de Hoog, J.
Van Grieken, R.
Daily and seasonal variation in the total elemental, organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) content and mass of PM2.5 were studied at industrial, urban, suburban and agricultural/rural areas. Continuous (optical Dustscan, standard tapered element oscillating microbalance (TEOM), TEOM with filter dynamics measurement system), semi-continuous (Partisol filter-sampling) and non-continuous (Dekati-impactor sampling and gravimetry) methods of PM2.5 mass monitoring were critically evaluated. The average elemental fraction accounted for 2-6 % of the PM2.5 mass measured by gravimetry. Metals, like K, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn and Pb were strongly inter-correlated, also frequently with non-metallic elements (P, S, Cl and/or Br) and EC/OC. A high OC/EC ratio (2-9) was generally observed. The total carbon content of PM2.5 ranged between 3-77 % (averages: 12-32 %), peaking near industrial/heavy trafficked sites. Principal component analysis identified heavy oil burning, ferrous/non-ferrous industry and vehicular emissions as the main sources of metal pollution.