Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-32
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-32
 
18 Jan 2022
18 Jan 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP and is expected to appear here in due course.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their alkylated-, nitro- and oxy-derivatives in the atmosphere over the Mediterranean and Middle East seas

Marco Wietzoreck1, Marios Kyprianou2, Benjamin A. Musa Bandowe1, Siddika Celik3, John N. Crowley4, Frank Drewnick3, Philipp Eger4, Nils Friedrich4, Minas Iakovides2, Petr Kukučka5, Jan Kuta5, Barbora Nežiková5, Petra Pokorná6, Petra Přibylová5, Roman Prokeš5,7, Roland Rohloff4, Ivan Tadic4, Sebastian Tauer4, Jake Wilson1, Hartwig Harder4, Jos Lelieveld2,4, Ulrich Pöschl1, Euripides G. Stephanou2,8, and Gerhard Lammel1,5 Marco Wietzoreck et al.
  • 1Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, 55128, Germany
  • 2Climate and Atmosphere Research Centre, Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, 2121, Cyprus
  • 3Particle Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, 55128, Germany
  • 4Atmospheric Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, 55128, Germany
  • 5RECETOX, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, 625 00, Czech Republic
  • 6Department of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the CAS, Prague, 165 02, Czech Republic
  • 7The Czech Academy of Sciences, Global Change Research Institute, Brno, 603 00, Czech Republic
  • 8Department of Chemistry, University of Crete, Heraklion, 70013, Greece

Abstract. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), their alkylated (RPAHs), nitrated (NPAHs) and oxygenated (OPAHs) derivatives are air pollutants. Many of these substances are long-lived, can undergo long-range atmospheric transport and adversely affect human health upon exposure. However, the occurrence and fate of these air pollutants has hardly been studied in the marine atmosphere. In this study, we report the atmospheric concentrations over the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Gulf, determined during the AQABA (Air Quality and Climate Change in the Arabian Basin) project, a comprehensive ship-borne campaign in summer 2017. The average concentrations of ∑27PAHs, ∑19RPAHs, ∑11OPAHs and ∑17NPAHs, in the gas and particulate phase, were 2.85 ± 3.35 ng m−3, 0.83 ± 0.87 ng m−3, 0.24 ± 0.25 ng m−3 and 4.34 ± 7.37 pg m−3, respectively. The Arabian Sea region was the cleanest for all substance classes, with concentrations among the lowest ever reported. Over the Mediterranean Sea, we found the highest average burden of ∑26PAHs and ∑11OPAHs, while the ∑17NPAHs were most abundant over the Arabian Gulf (known also as Persian Gulf). 1,4 Naphthoquinone (1,4-O2NAP) followed by 9-fluorenone and 9,10-anthraquinone were the most abundant studied OPAHs in most samples. The NPAH composition pattern varied significantly across the regions, with 2 nitronaphthalene (2-NNAP) being the most abundant NPAH. According to source apportionment investigations, the main sources of PAH derivatives in the region were ship exhaust emissions, residual oil combustion and continental pollution. All OPAHs and NPAHs except 2-NFLT, which were frequently detected during the campaign, showed elevated concentrations in fresh shipping emissions. In contrast, 2-nitrofluoranthene (2-NFLT) and 2-nitropyrene (2-NPYR) were highly abundant in aged shipping emissions due to secondary formation. Apart from 2-NFLT and 2-NPYR, also benz(a)anthracene-7,12-dione and 1,4-O2NAP had significant photochemical sources. Another finding was that the highest concentrations of PAHs, OPAHs and NPAHs were found in the sub-micrometre fraction of particulate matter (PM1).

Marco Wietzoreck et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-32', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Feb 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Marco Wietzoreck, 14 Apr 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-32', Roland Kallenborn, 03 Mar 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Marco Wietzoreck, 14 Apr 2022

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-32', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Feb 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Marco Wietzoreck, 14 Apr 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-32', Roland Kallenborn, 03 Mar 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Marco Wietzoreck, 14 Apr 2022

Marco Wietzoreck et al.

Marco Wietzoreck et al.

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Short summary
A unique dataset of concentrations and sources of PAHs and their alkylated, oxygenated and nitrated derivatives, in total 74 individual species, in the marine atmosphere is presented. Exposure to these substances poses a major health risk. We found very low concentrations over the Arabian Sea, while both local and long-range transported pollution caused elevated levels over the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Gulf.
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