Chemical speciation of individual atmospheric particles using low-Z electron probe X-ray microanalysis: characterizing 'Asian Dust' deposited with rainwater in Seoul, Korea

Chul Un Ro, Keun Young Oh, Hye Kyeong Kim, Youngsin Chun, János Osán, Johan De Hoog, René Van Grieken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chemical speciation of individual microparticles is of much interest in environmental atmospheric chemistry; e.g. the determination of the elemental concentrations in individual atmospheric aerosol particles is important to study the chemical behavior of atmospheric pollution. Recently, an EPMA technique using an X-ray detector equipped with an ultra-thin window, allowing EPMA to determine concentrations of low-Z elements, such as C, N, and O, in individual particles of micrometer size, has been developed. This technique, called low-Z electron probe X-ray microanalysis (low-Z EPMA), is applied to characterize the water-insoluble part of 'Asian Dust', deposited by washout in the form of rainwater during an Asian Dust storm event and collected in Seoul, Korea. In this study, it was demonstrated that the single particle analysis using low-Z EPMA provided detailed information on various types of chemical species in the sample. In addition to aluminosilicates, silicon oxide, iron oxide, and calcium carbonate particles, which are expected to be present, carbonaceous particles are also observed in a significant fraction. This unexpected finding that particle sample originated from an arid area contains significant amount of carbonaceous particles is supported by the investigation of a 'China Loess' sample. In addition, we also performed single particle analysis for a local soil sample, in order to check the possible influence from local sources on 'Asian Dust'. The characteristics of the local soil particle sample, e.g. the types of aluminosilicate particles and the abdundance of particles with deviating chemical species, are clearly different from 'Asian Dust' and 'China Loess' samples, whereas those two are similar, implying that the 'Asian Dust' sample was not much influenced by local sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4995-5005
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Volume35
Issue number29
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 15 2001

Keywords

  • Aerosols
  • Asian Dust
  • Electron probe X-ray microanalysis
  • Light element analysis
  • Single particle analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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