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Open Access Light Degrading Properties of Size-Fractionated PM10 Aerosol Samples Collected from an Industrial Area in Brisbane, Australia

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Thirty-seven days of PM10 aerosol samples (particles with aerodynamic diameter <10 m) were collected in an industrial area in Brisbane during April to June 1999 to study the light extinction efficiencies of urban aerosols in different size ranges. The light scattering coefficient of the air was measured by nephelometry. The light absorption coefficient of the aerosol samples was measured by the integrating plate laser absorption method. Multiple linear regression techniques were used to investigate the relationships between the visibility degrading properties and the chemical composition of the aerosol samples. The results are comparable with those from other visual air quality studies. The absorption of light by fine (PM2.5) aerosols is mainly due to elemental carbon (EC) particles smaller than 0.5 m. The b0ap values of EC particles in different size ranges are 9.08 (< 2.7 m) and 0.32 (2.7-10 m)m2g-1, respectively. The absorption of light by coarse (PM2.5-10) aerosols is mainly due to soil (b0ap = 0.17) and organic (b0ap = 1.11) particles. The scattering of light is highly related to the concentration of fine particles in the air (mass scattering efficiency b0sp = 1.65) and is mainly due to the fine sulphate (b0sp = 10.9), soil (b0sp = 2.73), and EC (b0sp = 3.89) particles. On average, fine EC (44%), sulphate (20%) and soil (7%) particles, NO2 (9%), and Rayleigh scattering (19%) were the largest contributors of visibility degradation for the sampling days in this study.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2002

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