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Chemical mass balance source apportionment of fine and PM10 in the Desert Southwest, USA

1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA
2 Present Address: Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Colorado State University, Ft Collins, CO 80523, USA
3 School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
4 School of Molecular Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
5 National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA

Special Issues: Advanced Technologies for Air Pollution Control

The Desert Southwest Coarse Particulate Matter Study was undertaken in Pinal County, Arizona, to better understand the origin and impact of sources of fine and coarse particulate matter (PM) in rural, arid regions of the U.S. southwestern desert. The desert southwest experiences some of the highest PM10 mass concentrations in the country. To augment previously reported results, 6-week aggregated organic speciation data that included ambient concentrations of n-alkanes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, organic acids, and saccharides were used in chemical mass balance modeling (CMB). A set of re-suspended soil samples were analyzed for specific marker species to provide locally-appropriate source profiles for the CMB analysis. These profiles, as well as previously collected plant and fungal spore profiles from the region, were combined with published source profiles for other relevant sources and used in the CMB analysis. The six new region-specific source profiles included both organic and inorganic species for four crustal material sources, one plant detritus source, and one fungal spore source.
Results indicate that up to half of the ambient PM2.5 was apportioned to motor vehicles with the highest regional contribution observed in the small urban center of Casa Grande. Daily levels of apportioned crustal material accounted for up to 50% of PM2.5 mass with the highest contributions observed at the sites closest to active agricultural areas. Apportioned secondary PM, biomass burning, and road dust typically contributed less than 35% as a group to the apportioned PM2.5 mass. Crustal material was the primary source apportioned to PM10 and accounted for between 50–90% of the apportioned mass. Of the other sources apportioned to PM10, motor vehicles and road dust were the largest contributors at the urban and one of the rural sites, whereas road dust and meat cooking operations were the largest contributors at the other rural site.
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Copyright Info: © 2016, Matthew P. Fraser, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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