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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-857
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-857
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 30 Sep 2019

Submitted as: research article | 30 Sep 2019

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

Characterization of carbonaceous aerosols in Singapore: insight from black carbon fragments and trace metal ions detected by a soot-particle aerosol mass spectrometer

Laura-Hélèna Rivellini1, Max G. Adam2,a, Nethmi Kasthuriarachchi2, and Alex K. Y. Lee1,2 Laura-Hélèna Rivellini et al.
  • 1NUS Environmental Research Institute, National University of Singapore, 117411, Singapore
  • 2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117576, Singapore
  • anow at: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117576, Singapore

Abstract. Understanding sources and atmospheric processes that can influence the physio-chemical properties of carbonaceous aerosols are essential to evaluate their impacts on air quality and climate. However, resolving the sources, emission characteristics and aging processes of carbonaceous aerosols in complex urban environments remain challenging. In this work, a soot-particle aerosol mass spectrometer (SP-AMS) was deployed to characterize organic aerosols (OA), refractory BC (rBC) and trace metals in Singapore, a highly urbanized city with multiple local and regional air pollution sources in the tropical region. rBC (C1+–C9+) fragments and trace metals ions (K+, Na+, Ni+, V+ and Rb+) were integrated into our positive matrix factorization of OA. Two types of fossil fuel combustion-related OA with different degree of oxygenation were identified. This work provides evidence that over 90 % of rBC was originated from local combustion sources with ~ 30 % of them associated with the fresh secondary organic aerosol (SOA) produced under the influences of industrial emissions during daytime. The results also show that ~ 43 % of the total rBC was emitted from local traffic, and the rest of rBC fraction due to multiple sources, including vehicular, shipping and industrial emissions, being not fully resolved. There was only a weak association between the cooking-related OA component and rBC. Although there was no observable biomass burning episode during the sampling period, tracers for biomass burning, K+ and Rb+, were mainly associated with the more-oxidized oxygenated OA component (~ 32 % of the total OA), indicating significant contributions of regional biomass burning emissions to this aged OA component. Furthermore, the aerosol pollutants transported from the industrial area and shipping ports gave higher C1+/C3+ and V+/Ni+ ratios than those associated with traffic and biomass burning. The observed association between Na+ and rBC suggests that the contribution of anthropogenic emissions to total particulate sodium should not be ignored in coastal urban environments. Overall, this work demonstrates that rBC fragments and trace metal ions can improve our understanding on the sources, emissions characteristics and aging history of carbonaceous aerosol (OA and rBC) in this type of complex urban environments.

Laura-Hélèna Rivellini et al.
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Laura-Hélèna Rivellini et al.
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Short summary
This work highlights that trace metals and refractory black carbon (rBC), and their inclusion in source-receptor model, can provide important insight into the source apportionment of carbonaceous aerosols. In Singapore, we evidence that 90 % of rBC was originated from traffic/industrial emissions. The association of aged OA with K and Rb underlines the influence of regional biomass burning sources, while rBC fragmentation patterns and V/Ni were used to identify industrial and shipping pollutants.
This work highlights that trace metals and refractory black carbon (rBC), and their inclusion in...
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