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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 07 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 07 Aug 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Composition and mass size distribution of nitrated and oxygenated aromatic compounds in ambient particulate matter from southern and central Europe – implications for origin

Zoran Kitanovski1,a, Pourya Shahpoury1,2, Constantini Samara3, Aristeidis Voliotis3,4, and Gerhard Lammel1,5 Zoran Kitanovski et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Multiphase Chemistry Department, Mainz, Germany
  • 2Environment and Climate Change Canada, Air Quality Processes Research Section, Toronto, Canada
  • 3Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of Chemistry, Environmental Pollution Control Laboratory, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 4University of Manchester, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • 5Masaryk University, Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment, Brno, Czech Republic
  • anow at: Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d., Ljubljana, Slovenia

Abstract. Nitro-monoaromatic hydrocarbons (NMAHs), such as nitrocatechols, nitrophenols and nitrosalicylic acids, are important constituents of atmospheric particulate matter (PM) water soluble organic carbon (WSOC) and humic-like substances (HULIS). Nitrated and oxygenated derivatives of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAHs, OPAHs) are toxic and ubiquitous in the ambient air; due to their light absorption properties, together with NMAHs they are part of aerosol brown carbon (BrC). We investigated the winter concentrations of these substance classes in size-resolved particulate matter (PM) from two urban sites in central and southern Europe, i.e. Mainz (MZ), Germany and Thessaloniki (TK), Greece. ∑11NMAH concentrations in PM10 and total PM were 0.51–8.38 and 12.1–72.1 ng m−3 at MZ and TK site, respectively, whereas ∑8OPAHs were 47–1636 and 858–4306 pg m−3, and ∑17NPAHs were ≤ 90 and 76–578 pg m−3, respectively. NMAHs and the water-soluble OPAHs contributed 0.4 and 1.8 %, and 0.0001 and 0.0002 % to the HULIS mass, at MZ and TK, respectively. The mass size distributions of the individual substances generally peaked in the smallest or second smallest size fraction i.e., < 0.49 µm or 0.49–0.95 µm. The mass median diameter (MMD) of NMAHs was 0.10 µm and 0.27 µm at MZ and TK, respectively, while the MMDs of NPAHs and OPAHs were both 0.06 µm at MZ, and 0.12 and 0.10 µm at TK. Correlation analysis between NMAHs, NPAHs and OPAHs from one side and WSOC, HULIS, nitrate, sulphate and potassium cation (K+) from another, suggested that the fresh biomass burning emissions dominated at the TK site, while aged air masses (influenced by biomass and fossil fuel burning) were predominant at the MZ site.

Zoran Kitanovski et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Zoran Kitanovski et al.
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