Source apportionment of PAHs and n-alkanes in respirable particles in Tehran, Iran by wind sector and vertical profile
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The vertical concentration profiles and source contributions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and n-alkanes in respirable particle samples (PM4) collected at 10, 100, 200 and 300-m altitude from the Milad Tower of Tehran, Iran during fall and winter were investigated. The average concentrations of total PAHs and total n-alkanes were 16.7 and 591 ng/m3, respectively. The positive matrix factorization (PMF) model was applied to the chemical composition and wind data to apportion the contributing sources. The five PAH source factors identified were: 'diesel' (56.3 % of total PAHs on average), 'gasoline' (15.5 %), 'wood combustion, and incineration' (13 %), 'industry' (9.2 %), and 'road soil particle' (6.0 %). The four n-alkane source factors identified were: 'petrogenic' (65 % of total n-alkanes on average), 'mixture of petrogenic and biomass burning' (15 %), 'mixture of biogenic and fossil fuel' (11.5 %), and 'biogenic' (8.5 %). Source contributions by wind sector were also estimated based on the wind sector factor loadings from PMF analysis. Directional dependence of sources was investigated using the conditional probability function (CPF) and directional relative strength (DRS) methods. The calm wind period was found to contribute to 4.4 % of total PAHs and 5.0 % of total n-alkanes on average. Highest average concentrations of PAHs and n-alkanes were found in the 10 and 100 m samples, reflecting the importance of contributions from local sources. Higher average concentrations in the 300 m samples compared to those in the 200 m samples may indicate contributions from long-range transport. The vertical profiles of source factors indicate the gasoline and road soil particle-associated PAHs, and the mixture from biogenic and fossil fuel source-associated n-alkanes were mostly from local emissions. The smaller average contribution of diesel-associated PAHs in the lower altitude samples also indicates that the restriction of diesel-fueled vehicle use in the central area of Tehran has been effective in reducing the PAHs concentration.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research
Environmental Chemistry (incl. Atmospheric Chemistry)