Source/receptor reconciliation of ambient organic fine particulate matter in Palm Beach County

Orhan Sevimoglu, Florida International University


Airborne particulate matter (PM) is of environmental concern not only in urban but also rural areas that are easily inhalable and have been considered responsible, together with gaseous pollutants, for possible health effects. The objectives of this research study is to generate an extensive data set for ambient PM collected at Belle Glade and Delray Beach that ultimately was used together with published source profiles to predict the contributions of major sources to the overall airborne particle burden in Belle Glade and Delray Beach. ^ The size segregated particle sampling was conducted for one entire year. The samples collected during the months of January and May were further subjected to chemical analysis for organic compounds by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. Additional, PM10 sampling was conducted simultaneously with size segregated particle sampling during January and May to analyze for trace elements using Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis technique. Elements and organic marker compounds were used in Chemical Mass Balance modeling to determine the major source contribution to the ambient fine particle matter burden. ^ Size segregated particle distribution results show bimodal in both sampling sites. Sugarcane pre-harvest burning in the rural site elevated PM10 concentration by about 30% during the sugarcane harvest season compared to sugarcane growing season. Sea salt particles and Saharan dust particles accounted for the external sources. ^ The results of trace element analysis show that Al, Ca, Cs, Eu, Lu, Nd, Sc, Sm, Th, and Yb are more abundant at the rural sampling site. The trace elements Ba, Br, Ce, Cl, Cr, Fe, Gd, Hf, Na, Sb, Ta, V, and W show high abundance at the urban site due to anthropogenic activities except for Na and Cl, which are from sea salt spray. On the other hand, size segregated trace organic compounds measurements show that organic compounds mainly from combustion process were accumulated in PM0.95. ^ In conclusion, major particle sources were determined by the CMB8.2 software as follows: road dust, sugarcane leaf burning, diesel-powered and gasoline powered vehicle exhaust, leaf surface abrasion particles, and a very small fraction of meat cooking. ^

Subject Area

Engineering, Environmental

Recommended Citation

Sevimoglu, Orhan, "Source/receptor reconciliation of ambient organic fine particulate matter in Palm Beach County" (2007). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3268663.