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Particle size distribution of nitrated and oxygenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAHs and OPAHs) on traffic and suburban sites of a European megacity: Paris (France)

by J. Ringuet, E. Leoz-Garziandia, H. Budzinski, E. Villenave, A. Albinet
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ()
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The size distribution of particulate nitrated and oxygenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAHs and OPAHs) was determined during two field campaigns at a traffic site in summer 2010 and at a suburban site during the MEGAPOLI (Megacities: Emissions, urban, regional and Global Atmospheric POLlution and climate effects, and Integrated tools for assessment and mitigation) experiment in summer 2009. Both, OPAHs and NPAHs were strongly associated (>85 %) to fine particles (Dp <2.5 μm) increasing the interest of their study on a sanitary point of view. Results showed really different NPAH and OPAH particle size distributions between both sites. At traffic site, clearly bimodal (notably for NPAHs) particle size distributions (Dp = 0.14 and 1.4 μm) were observed, while the particle size distributions were more scattered at the suburban site, especially for OPAHs. Bimodal particle size distribution observed at traffic site for the NPAH could be assigned to the vehicle emissions and the particle resuspension. Broadest distribution observed at the suburban site could be attributed to the mass transfer of compounds by volatilization/sorption processes during the transport of particles in the atmosphere. Results also showed that the combination of the study of particle size distributions applied to marker compounds (primary: 1-nitropyrene; secondary: 2-nitrofluoranthene) and to NPAH or OPAH chemical profiles bring some indications on their primary and/or secondary origin. Indeed, 1,4-anthraquinone seemed only primary emitted by vehicles while 7-nitrobenz[a]anthracene, benz[a]antracen7,12-dione and benzo[b]fluorenone seemed secondarily formed in the atmosphere.

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