Articles | Volume 8, issue 13
10 Jul 2008
 | 10 Jul 2008

Contribution of residential wood combustion and other sources to hourly winter aerosol in Northern Sweden determined by positive matrix factorization

P. Krecl, E. Hedberg Larsson, J. Ström, and C. Johansson

Abstract. The combined effect of residential wood combustion (RWC) emissions with stable atmospheric conditions, which frequently occurs in Northern Sweden during wintertime, can deteriorate the air quality even in small towns. To estimate the contribution of RWC to the total atmospheric aerosol loading, positive matrix factorization (PMF) was applied to hourly mean particle number size distributions measured in a residential area in Lycksele during winter 2005/2006. The sources were identified based on the particle number size distribution profiles of the PMF factors, the diurnal contributions patterns estimated by PMF for both weekends and weekdays, and correlation of the modeled particle number concentration per factor with measured aerosol mass concentrations (PM10, PM1, and light-absorbing carbon MLAC) Through these analyses, the factors were identified as local traffic (factor 1), local RWC (factor 2), and local RWC plus long-range transport (LRT) of aerosols (factor 3). In some occasions, the PMF model could not separate the contributions of local RWC from background concentrations since their particle number size distributions partially overlapped. As a consequence, we report the contribution of RWC as a range of values, being the minimum determined by factor 2 and the possible maximum as the contributions of both factors 2 and 3. A multiple linear regression (MLR) of observed PM10, PM1, total particle number, and MLAC concentrations is carried out to determine the source contribution to these aerosol variables. The results reveal RWC is an important source of atmospheric particles in the size range 25–606 nm (44–57%), PM10 (36–82%), PM1 (31–83%), and MLAC (40–76%) mass concentrations in the winter season. The contribution from RWC is especially large on weekends between 18:00 LT and midnight whereas local traffic emissions show similar contributions every day.

Final-revised paper