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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  13 Jul 2020

13 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Highly time-resolved measurements of element concentrations in PM10 and PM2.5: Comparison of Delhi, Beijing, London, and Krakow

Pragati Rai1, Jay G. Slowik1, Markus Furger1, Imad El Haddad1, Suzanne Visser2, Yandong Tong1, Atinderpal Singh3, Günther Wehrle1, Varun Kumar1, Anna K. Tobler1, Deepika Bhattu1,a, Liwei Wang1, Dilip Ganguly4, Neeraj Rastogi3, Ru-Jin Huang5, Jaroslaw Necki6, Junji Cao5, Sachchida N. Tripathi7, Urs Baltensperger1, and André S. H. Prévôt1 Pragati Rai et al.
  • 1Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, Forschungsstrasse 111, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
  • 2Centre for Environmental Quality, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, 3720 BA, Bilthoven, the Netherlands
  • 3Geosciences Division, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad 380009, India
  • 4Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi 110016, India
  • 5Key Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710075, China
  • 6Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, Department of Applied Nuclear Physics, AGH University of Science and Technology, 30059 Krakow, Poland
  • 7Department of Civil Engineering and Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh 208016, India
  • anow at: Department of Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342037, India

Abstract. We present highly time-resolved (30 to 120 min) measurements of size-fractionated (PM10 and PM2.5) elements in two cities in Asia (Delhi and Beijing) and Europe (Krakow and London). For most elements, the mean concentrations in PM10 and PM2.5 are higher in Asian cities (up to 24 and 28 times, respectively) than in Krakow, and often higher in Delhi than in Beijing. Among European cities, Krakow shows higher elemental concentrations (up to 20 and 27 times, respectively) than London. The enrichment factor of an element together with the size distribution allows for a rough classification of elements by major sources. We define five groups: (1) dust-related, (2) non-exhaust traffic emissions, (3) solid fuel combustion, (4) mixed traffic/industrial emissions, and (5) industrial/coal/waste burning emissions, with the last group exhibiting the most site-to-site variability. Hourly maximum concentrations of Pb and Zn reach up to 1 µg m−3 in Delhi, substantially higher than at the other sites. We demonstrate that the high time resolution and size-segregated elemental dataset can be a powerful tool to assess aerosol composition and sources in urban environments. Our results highlight the need to consider the size distributions of toxic elements, diurnal patterns of targeted emissions, and local vs. regional effects in formulating effective environmental policies to protect public health.

Pragati Rai et al.

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Pragati Rai et al.

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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We present a simple conceptual framework based on elemental size distributions and enrichment factors that allows characterization of major sources, site-to-site similarities and local differences, and identification of key information required for efficient policy development. Absolute concentrations are by far the highest in Delhi, followed by Beijing and then the European cities.
We present a simple conceptual framework based on elemental size distributions and enrichment...