Fractionation of elements by particle size and chemical bonding from aerosols followed by ETAAS determination

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A sequential leaching procedure was applied to the determination of the distribution of elements in atmospheric aerosols collected on membrane filters in different particle size ranges. The three-stage sequential leaching procedure divides the elements into environmentally mobile, bound to carbonates and oxides, and bound to silicates and organic matter (environmentally immobile) fractions. Three particle size fractions were collected: fine, d<1 μm; coarse, d = 1-10 μm; and pre-filter, >10 μm on membrane filters. The sampling site was set up in K-puszta, a Hungarian meteorological background station. The campaign involved the collection of samples every two days weekly for 13 consecutive months. Concentrations of ten elements were determined by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry (ETAAS). Dry deposition rates and enrichment factors (EF) were calculated for fine and coarse fractions, as well as the mobile portion of the chemical bonding of the elements. This approach opens a new dimension to understanding the dry deposition of aerosols containing toxic heavy metals. Results were compared with earlier findings from a sampling campaign at K-puszta and other studies at different sampling sites and conditions. Generally, it can be concluded that the pollution load characterizes well the background station and that aerosols are transported from long-range and originate from both anthropogenic and natural sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-81
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of analytical atomic spectrometry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

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