Inorganic, organic and macromolecular components of fine aerosol in different areas of Europe in relation to their water solubility

S. Zappoli, A. Andracchio, S. Fuzzi, M. C. Facchini, A. Gelencsér, G. Kiss, Z. Krivácsy, A. Molnár, E. Mészáros, H. C. Hansson, K. Rosman, Y. Zebühr

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A chemical mass balance of fine aerosol (< 1.5 μm AED) collected at three European sites was performed with reference to the water solubility of the different aerosol classes of components. The sampling sites are characterised by different pollution conditions and aerosol loading in the air. Aspvreten is a background site in central Sweden, K-puszta is a rural site in the Great Hungarian Plain and San Pietro Capofiume is located in the polluted Po Valley, northern Italy. The average fine aerosol mass concentration was 5.9 μg m-3 at the background site Aspvreten, 24 μg m- 3 at the rural K-puszta and 38 μg m-3 at the polluted site San Pietro Capofiume. However, a similarly high soluble fraction of the aerosol (65- 75%) was measured at the three sites, while the percentage of water soluble organic species with respect to the total soluble mass was much higher at the background site (ca. 50%) than at the other two sites (ca. 25%). A very high fraction (over 70%) of organic compounds in the aerosol consisted of polar species. The presence of water soluble macromolecular compounds was revealed in the samples from K-puszta and San Pietro Capofiume. At both sites these species accounted for between ca. 20-50% of the water soluble organic fraction. The origin of the compounds was tentatively attributed to biomass combustion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2733-2743
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 1999
EventProceedings of the 1997 6th International Conference on Carbonaceous Particles in the Atmosphere - Vienna, Austria
Duration: Sep 22 1997Sep 24 1997



  • Aerosol chemistry
  • Macromolecular compounds
  • Organic aerosol
  • Water soluble organic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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