Research activity

Analytical applications

Aerosols

Contact: Zsófia Kertész, zsofi (at) atomki.hu

Systematic investigation of atmospheric aerosol has been started in the Institute in 1991 to determine the total, PM10 and PM2.5 mass and their elemental composition and black carbon content in urban (Debrecen) site and a rural site nearby (Hortobágy-Nagyiván). Integral sampling has been made in measurements covering a time period of 10 years with a single stage Nuclepore sampler. Since 1993 atmospheric aerosol samples have been collected with a "Gent" stacked filter unit (SFU). Particle masses (PM) of the samples have been measured with a Sartorius microbalance. "Black Carbon" component (BC) collected on the fine stage samples has been measured by a Smokestain reflectometer. Proton induced X-ray emission analytical method (PIXE) has been applied for deducing absolute concentration data (in ng/m3) on elemental constituents (Al, Si, P, S, Cl, K, Ca, Ti, V, (Cr), Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, (As), Br, Ba, Pb) of the samples.

During measuring campaigns time resolved samples were collected with Streaker air particulate sampler with 1 week sampling duration, and with a 7-stage Cascade Impactor allowing size separation [27]. Single aerosol particles on samples, collected by a Cascade Impactor, were analyzed by scanning proton (nuclear) microprobe [28].

Seasonal variations, correlations with the amount of precipitation and wind sector distributions were observed for separate elements. Absolute principal component analysis revealed four typical factors contributing to the aerosol burden [29]. Trajectory sector analysis has been used for studying the influence of long range transport from the heavily industrialized area in Central/Eastern Europe on one hand and from the Saharan area on the other [30].

Seasonal variations and tendencies of the elemental concentrations
in urban fine (PM2.5) aerosol samples

Enrichment of desert soil elements (mainly sulphure and chlorine) to be assigned to the accumulation of salts in the closed arid Tarim Basin has been observed in the Takla Makan desert. Elemental ratios Si/Fe and Ca/Fe were found to be used as regional tracers in following Takla Makan aerosols towards Chinese and Japan sampling stations in KOSA events [31]. Integral elemental constituents and individual aerosol particles collected during an eruption event of Lonqimay volcano in Chile have been subjected to detailed analysis [32].

Our data offer further basis to investigate the existence and nature of differences between air qualities in Western and Eastern Europe caused by structural and technological differences in the energy sector and industry of the regions [33].

In order to investigate the health impact of atmospheric aerosols, the obtained data is used to calculate lung deposition probabilities along the human respiratory tract with the help of a stochastic lung model [34]. The IBA laboratory also took part in the recent development of the model for asthma and emphysema [35].

The above described work was supported in part by the Hungarian National Foundation for Scientific Research (OTKA) and the National Research and Development Program (NRDP), as well as by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA-CRP) [36,37].

References:

[27] Zs. Kertész, E. Dobos, B. Fenyos, R. Kéki, I. Borbély- Kiss: Time and size resolved elemental component study of urban aerosol in Debrecen, Hungary, X-Ray Spectrometry 37 (2008) 107

[28] Zs. Kertész, I. Borbély-Kiss, I. Rajta, I. Uzonyi, Á.Z. Kiss: Analysis of single aerosol particles collected in urban and cave environment by proton microprobe. Nucl. Instr. and Meth. B 161 (2000) 808

[29] I. Borbély-Kiss, E. Koltay, Gy. Szabó, L. Bozó, K. Tar: Composition and sources of urban and rural atmospheric aerosol in Eastern Hungary, Journal of Aerosol Science 30 (1999) 369

[30] I. Borbély-Kiss, Á.Z. Kiss, E. Koltay, Gy. Szabó, L. Bozó: Sahara dust episodes in Hungarian aerosol: elemental signatures and transport trajectories, Journal of Aerosol Science 35 (2004) 1205

[31] I. Makra, I. Borbély-Kiss, E. Koltay, Y. Chen: Enrichment of desert soil elements in Takla Makan dust aerosol, Nucl. Instr. and Meth. B 189 (2002) 214

[32] E. Koltay, I. Rajta, J.R. Morales, I. Borbély-Kiss, Á.Z. Kiss: Characterization of individual aerosol particles from the eruption of Lonquimay volcano in Chile, Nucl. Instr. and Meth. B 150 (1999) 375

[33] E. Dobos, I. Borbély-Kiss, Zs. Kertész, Gy. Szabó, E. Koltay: Debrecen, Hungary on the fine fraction aerosol map of Europe, Jounral of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 279 (2009) 143

[34] E. Dobos, I. Borbély-Kiss., Zs. Kertész, I. Salma: Comparing the elemental concentration of aerosol from urban and rural areas with applying the calculation of stochastic Lung Model, Journal of Aerosol Science 35 (2004) 139

[35] E. Dobos, I. Borbély-Kiss, I. Balásházy, Zs. Kertész, W. Hofmann: Development of the stochastic Lung Model for asthma and emphysema, Proceedings of the European Aerosol Conference (2005) 267

[36] I. Borbély-Kiss, E. Koltay, Gy. Szabó, L. Bozó, K. Tar: Composition and sources of urban and rural atmospheric aerosol in Eastern Hungary, Journal of Aerosol Science 30 (1999) 369

[37] I. Borbély-Kiss, Á.Z. Kiss, E. Koltay, Gy. Szabó, L. Bozó: Sahara dust episodes in Hungarian aerosol: elemental signatures and transport trajectories, Journal of Aerosol Science 35 (2004) 1205