Characteristics of trace metals in traffic-derived particles in Hsuehshan Tunnel, Taiwan: Size distribution, potential source, and fingerprinting metal ratio

Y. C. Lin*, C. J. Tsai, Y. C. Wu, R. Zhang, K. H. Chi, Y. T. Huang, S. H. Lin, S. C. Hsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations

Abstract

Traffic emissions are a significant source of airborne particulate matter (PM) in ambient environments. These emissions contain an abundance of toxic metals and thus pose adverse effects on human health. Size-fractionated aerosol samples were collected from May to September 2013 by using micro-orifice uniform deposited impactors (MOUDIs). Sample collection was conducted simultaneously at the inlet and outlet sites of Hsuehshan Tunnel in northern Taiwan, which is the second-longest freeway tunnel (12.9 km) in Asia. This endeavor aims to characterize the chemical constituents and size distributions, as well as fingerprinting ratios of particulate metals emitted by vehicle fleets. A total of 36 metals in size-resolved aerosols were determined through inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Three major groups - namely, tailpipe emissions (Zn, Pb, and V in fine mode), wear debris (Cu, Cd, Fe, Ga, Mn, Mo, Sb, and Sn), and resuspended dust (Ca, Mg, K, and Rb) - of airborne PM metals were categorized on the basis of the results of enrichment factor, correlation matrix, and principal component analysis. Size distributions of wear-originated metals resembled the pattern of crustal elements, which were predominated by super-micron particulates (PM1-10). By contrast, tailpipe exhaust elements such as Zn, Pb, and V were distributed mainly in submicron particles. By employing Cu as a tracer of wear abrasion, several inter-metal ratios - including Fe / Cu (14), Ba / Cu (1.05), Sb / Cu (0.16), Sn / Cu (0.10), and Ga / Cu (0.03) - served as fingerprints for wear debris. However, the data set collected in this work is useful for further studies on traffic emission inventory and human health effects of traffic-related PM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4117-4130
Number of pages14
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Volume15
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Apr 2015

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