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Sub-micron particle number size distribution characteristics at two urban locations in Leicester

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-01-25, 13:26 authored by Sarkawt M.L. Hama, Rebecca L. Cordell, Gerard P.A. Kos, E.P. Weijers, Paul S. Monks
The particle number size distribution (PNSD) of atmospheric particles not only provides information about sources and atmospheric processing of particles, but also plays an important role in determining regional lung dose. Owing to the importance of PNSD in understanding particulate pollution two short-term campaigns (March–June 2014) measurements of sub-micron PNSD were conducted at two urban background locations in Leicester, UK. At the first site, Leicester Automatic Urban Rural Network (AURN), the mean number concentrations of nucleation, Aitken, accumulation modes, the total particles, equivalent black carbon (eBC) mass concentrations were 2002, 3258, 1576, 6837 # cm−3, 1.7 μg m−3, respectively, and at the second site, Brookfield (BF), were 1455, 2407, 874, 4737 # cm−3, 0.77 μg m−3, respectively. The total particle number was dominated by the nucleation and Aitken modes, with both consisting of 77%, and 81% of total number concentrations at AURN and BF sites, respectively. This behaviour could be attributed to primary emissions (traffic) of ultrafine particles and the temporal evolution of mixing layer. The size distribution at the AURN site shows bimodal distribution at ~ 22 nm with a minor peak at ~ 70 nm. The size distribution at BF site, however, exhibits unimodal distribution at ~ 35 nm. This study has for the first time investigated the effect of Easter holiday on PNSD in UK. The temporal variation of PNSD demonstrated a good degree of correlation with traffic-related pollutants (NOX, and eBC at both sites). The meteorological conditions, also had an impact on the PNSD and eBC at both sites. During the measurement period, the frequency of NPF events was calculated to be 13.3%, and 22.2% at AURN and BF sites, respectively. The average value of formation and growth rates of nucleation mode particles were 1.3, and 1.17 cm−3 s−1 and 7.42, and 5.3 nm h−1 at AURN, and BF sites, respectively. It can suggested that aerosol particles in Leicester originate mainly from traffic and domestic heating emissions.



Atmospheric Research, 2017, 194, pp. 1-16

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