09 Jan 2023
09 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

A new method for the quantification of ambient particulate matter emissions

Stergios Vratolis1, Evangelia Diapouli1, Manousos I. Manousakas2, Susana Marta Almeida3, Ivan Beslic4, Zsofia Kertesz5, Lucyna Samek6, and Konstantinos Eleftheriadis1 Stergios Vratolis et al.
  • 1ERL, Institute of Nuclear & Radiological Sciences & Technology, Energy & Safety, National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos”, 15310 Ag. Paraskevi, Attiki, Greece
  • 2Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen-PSI, 5232, Switzerland
  • 3Department of Nuclear Sciences and Engineering & C2TN, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Bobadela, Portugal
  • 4Environmental Hygiene Unit, Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Zagreb, 10000, Croatia
  • 5Institute for Nuclear Research (ATOMKI), Bem tér 18/C, Debrecen, 4026, Hungary
  • 6AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, ul. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059, Krakow, Poland

Abstract. An inversion method has been developed in order to quantify the emission rate of certain aerosol pollution sources across a wide region in the Northern hemisphere, mainly in Europe and Western Asia. The data employed are the aerosol contribution factors (sources) deducted by Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) on a PM2.5 chemical composition dataset from 16 European and Asian cities for the period 2014 to 2016. The spatial resolution of the method corresponds to the geographic grid cell size of the Lagrangian particle dispersion model (FLEXPART) which was utilized for the air mass backward simulations. The area covered is also related to the location of the 16 cities under study. Species with an aerodynamic geometric mean diameter of 400 nm and 3.1 μm and geometric standard deviation of 1.6 and 2.25 respectively, were used to model the Secondary Sulfate and Dust aerosol transport. PSCF analysis and Generalized Tikhonov regularization were applied so as to acquire potential source areas and quantify their emission rate. A significant source area for Secondary Sulfate on the East of the Caspian Sea is indicated, when data from all stations are used. The maximum emission rate in that area is as high as 10 g * m-2 * s-1. When Vilnius, Dushanbe and Kurchatov data were excluded, the areas with the highest emission factors were the Western and Central Balkans and South Poland. The results display many similarities to the SO2 emission map provided by ECLIPSE database. For Dust aerosol, measurements from Athens, Belgrade, Debrecen, Lisbon, Tirana and Zagreb are utilized. The west Sahara region is indicated as the most important source area and its contribution is quantified, with a maximum of 17.5 g * m-2  * s-1. When we apply the emission rates from every geographic grid cell (1º x 1º) for Secondary Sulfate aerosol deducted with the new method to air masses originating from Vilnius, a good approximation to the measured values is achieved.

Stergios Vratolis et al.

Status: open (until 20 Feb 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-843', Vasileios Stathopoulos, 12 Jan 2023 reply
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-843', Anonymous Referee #1, 23 Jan 2023 reply

Stergios Vratolis et al.

Stergios Vratolis et al.


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Short summary
Using a dataset from 16 European and Asian cities we develop a new method so as to quantify the emission rate from each geographic grid cell for aerosol contribution factors (sources) deducted by Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF). The application of the new method allowed us to identify and quantify the source areas and emission rates for Secondary Sulfate and Dust aerosol in Europe and Central Asia.