Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 26513-26549, 2010
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Anthropogenic and natural constituents in particulate matter in the Netherlands
E. P. Weijers1, M. Schaap2, L. Nguyen3, J. Matthijsen4, H. A. C. Denier van der Gon2, H. M. ten Brink1, and R. Hoogerbrugge3
1Department of Air Quality and Climate Change, Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), Petten, The Netherlands
2TNO, Business unit Environment, Health and Safety, Utrecht, The Netherlands
3National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands
4Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), Bilthoven, The Netherlands

Abstract. To develop mitigation strategies for reducing concentrations of both PM2.5 (and PM10), the origin of particulate matter (PM) needs to be established. An intensive, one-year measurement campaign from August 2007 to August 2008 was carried out to determine the composition of PM10 and PM2.5 at five locations in the Netherlands, aiming at reducing the uncertainties on the origin of PM. Generally, a considerable conformity in the chemical composition of PM2.5 (and PM10) was observed. From all the constituents present in PM2.5, the secondary inorganic aerosol is the most dominant (42–48%), followed by total carbonaceous matter (22–37%). Contributions due to sea salt (maximum 8%), mineral dust and metals (maximum 5%) are relatively low. For the first time, a detailed overview can be presented of the composition of the coarse fraction. Compared to the fine fraction, contributions of the sea salt, mineral dust and metals are now larger resulting in a more balanced distribution between the various constituents. Through mass closure a considerable part of the PM mass could be defined (PM2.5: 80–94%). The chemical distribution on days with high PM levels showed a distinct increase of nitrate as well as in the mass not accounted for. Contributions of the remaining constituents remained equal of were lower (sea salt) when expressed in percentages. A correspondence between nitrate and the unknown mass was observed hinting at the presence of water on the filters. The contribution from natural sources in the Netherlands was estimated to be about 25% for PM10 and 20% for PM2.5.

Citation: Weijers, E. P., Schaap, M., Nguyen, L., Matthijsen, J., Denier van der Gon, H. A. C., ten Brink, H. M., and Hoogerbrugge, R.: Anthropogenic and natural constituents in particulate matter in the Netherlands, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 26513-26549, doi:10.5194/acpd-10-26513-2010, 2010.
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