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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 21 Jan 2019

Submitted as: research article | 21 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Source apportionment of highly time resolved trace elements during a firework episode from a rural freeway site in Switzerland

Pragati Rai1, Markus Furger1, Jay Slowik1, Francesco Canonaco1, Roman Fröhlich1, Christoph Hüglin2, María Cruz Minguillón3, Krag Petterson4, Urs Baltensperger1, and André S. H. Prévôt1 Pragati Rai et al.
  • 1Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen PSI, 5232, Switzerland
  • 2Laboratory for Air Pollution / Environmental Technology, Empa, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland
  • 3Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA), CSIC, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
  • 4Cooper Environmental Services (CES), 9403 SW Nimbus Avenue, Beaverton, OR 97008, USA

Abstract. Trace element measurements in PM10 were performed with 1 h time resolution at a rural freeway site during summer 2015 in Switzerland using the Xact multi-metals monitor. On average the Xact 625 elements (without accounting for oxygen and other associated elements) make up about 20 % of the total PM10 mass (14.6 µg m−3). Subsequently, a source apportionment by positive matrix factorization (PMF) implemented via the Source Finder software (SoFi Pro) was applied. Eight different sources were identified (notable elements in brackets) for PM10: fireworks-I (K, S, Ba, Cl), fireworks-II (K), sea salt (Cl), secondary sulfate (S), background dust (Si, Ti), road dust (Ca), traffic-related (Fe) and industrial (Zn, Pb). The major components were secondary sulfate and traffic-related followed by background dust and road dust factors, explaining 21 %, 20 %, 18 % and 16 % of the analysed PM10 elemental mass, respectively, with the factor mass not corrected for oxygen content. Further, there are minor contributions (on the order of a few percent) of sea salt and industrial sources. The regionally influenced secondary sulfate factor experiences negligible resuspension, and concentrations are similar throughout the day. The significant loads of the traffic-related and road dust factors with strong diurnal variations highlight the continuing importance of vehicle-related air pollutants at this site. Enhanced control of PMF using SoFi Pro allowed for a successful apportionment of transient sources such as the two firework factors and sea salt, which remained mixed when analysed by unconstrained PMF.

Pragati Rai et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Short summary
The source apportionment analysis of hourly resolved trace elements in PM10 measured at traffic influenced site in Härkingen, Switzerland using positive matrix factorization (PMF)/multilinear engine-2 (ME-2) offered resolution of robust and unambiguous factor profiles and contributions. We demonstrated that special events in the data sets such as fireworks can be apportioned by ME-2 without disturbing the model solutions.
The source apportionment analysis of hourly resolved trace elements in PM10 measured at traffic...