Noémi Utry


3 On the Possibility of Real Time Characterisation of Ambient Toxicity Using Multi-Wavelength Photoacoustic Instrument

Authors: Tibor Ajtai, Noémi Utry, Máté Pintér, Gábor Szabó, Zoltán Bozóki, Gergely Kiss-Albert, Andrea Palágyi, László Manczinger, Csaba Vágvölgyi


According to the best knowledge of the authors, here we experimentally demonstrate first, a quantified correlation between the real-time measured optical feature of the ambient and the off-line measured toxicity data. Finally, using these correlations we are presenting a novel methodology for real time characterisation of ambient toxicity based on the multi wavelength aerosol phase photoacoustic measurement. Ambient carbonaceous particulate matter is one of the most intensively studied atmospheric constituent in climate science nowadays. Beyond their climatic impact, atmospheric soot also plays an important role as an air pollutant that harms human health. Moreover, according to the latest scientific assessments ambient soot is the second most important anthropogenic emission source, while in health aspect its being one of the most harmful atmospheric constituents as well. Despite of its importance, generally accepted standard methodology for the quantitative determination of ambient toxicology is not available yet. Dominantly, ambient toxicology measurement is based on the posterior analysis of filter accumulated aerosol with limited time resolution. Most of the toxicological studies are based on operational definitions using different measurement protocols therefore the comprehensive analysis of the existing data set is really limited in many cases. The situation is further complicated by the fact that even during its relatively short residence time the physicochemical features of the aerosol can be masked significantly by the actual ambient factors. Therefore, decreasing the time resolution of the existing methodology and developing real-time methodology for air quality monitoring are really actual issues in the air pollution research. During the last decades many experimental studies have verified that there is a relation between the chemical composition and the absorption feature quantified by Absorption Angström Exponent (AAE) of the carbonaceous particulate matter. Although the scientific community are in the common platform that the PhotoAcoustic Spectroscopy (PAS) is the only methodology that can measure the light absorption by aerosol with accurate and reliable way so far, the multi-wavelength PAS which are able to selectively characterise the wavelength dependency of absorption has become only available in the last decade. In this study, the first results of the intensive measurement campaign focusing the physicochemical and toxicological characterisation of ambient particulate matter are presented. Here we demonstrate the complete microphysical characterisation of winter time urban ambient including optical absorption and scattering as well as size distribution using our recently developed state of the art multi-wavelength photoacoustic instrument (4λ-PAS), integrating nephelometer (Aurora 3000) as well as single mobility particle sizer and optical particle counter (SMPS+C). Beyond this on-line characterisation of the ambient, we also demonstrate the results of the eco-, cyto- and genotoxicity measurements of ambient aerosol based on the posterior analysis of filter accumulated aerosol with 6h time resolution. We demonstrate a diurnal variation of toxicities and AAE data deduced directly from the multi-wavelength absorption measurement results.

Keywords: Toxicity, photoacoustic spectroscopy, absorption Angström exponent, Ames-test

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2 Two Component Source Apportionment Based on Absorption and Size Distribution Measurement

Authors: Tibor Ajtai, Noémi Utry, Máté Pintér, Gábor Szabó, Zoltán Bozóki


Beyond its climate and health related issues ambient light absorbing carbonaceous particulate matter (LAC) has also become a great scientific interest in terms of its regulations recently. It has been experimentally demonstrated in recent studies, that LAC is dominantly composed of traffic and wood burning aerosol particularly under wintertime urban conditions, when the photochemical and biological activities are negligible. Several methods have been introduced to quantitatively apportion aerosol fractions emitted by wood burning and traffic but most of them require costly and time consuming off-line chemical analysis. As opposed to chemical features, the microphysical properties of airborne particles such as optical absorption and size distribution can be easily measured on-line, with high accuracy and sensitivity, especially under highly polluted urban conditions. Recently a new method has been proposed for the apportionment of wood burning and traffic aerosols based on the spectral dependence of their absorption quantified by the Aerosol Angström Exponent (AAE). In this approach the absorption coefficient is deduced from transmission measurement on a filter accumulated aerosol sample and the conversion factor between the measured optical absorption and the corresponding mass concentration (the specific absorption cross section) are determined by on-site chemical analysis. The recently developed multi-wavelength photoacoustic instruments provide novel, in-situ approach towards the reliable and quantitative characterization of carbonaceous particulate matter. Therefore, it also opens up novel possibilities on the source apportionment through the measurement of light absorption. In this study, we demonstrate an in-situ spectral characterization method of the ambient carbon fraction based on light absorption and size distribution measurements using our state-of-the-art multi-wavelength photoacoustic instrument (4λ-PAS) and Single Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS) The carbonaceous particulate selective source apportionment study was performed for ambient particulate matter in the city center of Szeged, Hungary where the dominance of traffic and wood burning aerosol has been experimentally demonstrated earlier. The proposed model is based on the parallel, in-situ measurement of optical absorption and size distribution. AAEff and AAEwb were deduced from the measured data using the defined correlation between the AOC(1064nm)/AOC(266nm) and N100/N20 ratios. σff(λ) and σwb(λ) were determined with the help of the independently measured temporal mass concentrations in the PM1 mode. Furthermore, the proposed optical source apportionment is based on the assumption that the light absorbing fraction of PM is exclusively related to traffic and wood burning. This assumption is indirectly confirmed here by the fact that the measured size distribution is composed of two unimodal size distributions identified to correspond to traffic and wood burning aerosols. The method offers the possibility of replacing laborious chemical analysis with simple in-situ measurement of aerosol size distribution data. The results by the proposed novel optical absorption based source apportionment method prove its applicability whenever measurements are performed at an urban site where traffic and wood burning are the dominant carbonaceous sources of emission.

Keywords: Absorption, size distribution, source apportionment, wood burning, traffic aerosol

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1 Spectral Responses of the Laser Generated Coal Aerosol

Authors: Tibor Ajtai, Noémi Utry, Máté Pintér, Tomi Smausz, Zoltán Kónya, Béla Hopp, Gábor Szabó, Zoltán Bozóki


Characterization of spectral responses of light absorbing carbonaceous particulate matter (LAC) is of great importance in both modelling its climate effect and interpreting remote sensing measurement data. The residential or domestic combustion of coal is one of the dominant LAC constituent. According to some related assessments the residential coal burning account for roughly half of anthropogenic BC emitted from fossil fuel burning. Despite of its significance in climate the comprehensive investigation of optical properties of residential coal aerosol is really limited in the literature. There are many reason of that starting from the difficulties associated with the controlled burning conditions of the fuel, through the lack of detailed supplementary proximate and ultimate chemical analysis enforced, the interpretation of the measured optical data, ending with many analytical and methodological difficulties regarding the in-situ measurement of coal aerosol spectral responses. Since the gas matrix of ambient can significantly mask the physicochemical characteristics of the generated coal aerosol the accurate and controlled generation of residential coal particulates is one of the most actual issues in this research area. Most of the laboratory imitation of residential coal combustion is simply based on coal burning in stove with ambient air support allowing one to measure only the apparent spectral feature of the particulates. However, the recently introduced methodology based on a laser ablation of solid coal target opens up novel possibilities to model the real combustion procedure under well controlled laboratory conditions and makes the investigation of the inherent optical properties also possible. Most of the methodology for spectral characterization of LAC is based on transmission measurement made of filter accumulated aerosol or deduced indirectly from parallel measurements of scattering and extinction coefficient using free floating sampling. In the former one the accuracy while in the latter one the sensitivity are liming the applicability of this approaches. Although the scientific community are at the common platform that aerosol-phase PhotoAcoustic Spectroscopy (PAS) is the only method for precise and accurate determination of light absorption by LAC, the PAS based instrumentation for spectral characterization of absorption has only been recently introduced. In this study, the investigation of the inherent, spectral features of laser generated and chemically characterized residential coal aerosols are demonstrated. The experimental set-up and its characteristic for residential coal aerosol generation are introduced here. The optical absorption and the scattering coefficients as well as their wavelength dependency are determined by our state-of-the-art multi wavelength PAS instrument (4λ-PAS) and multi wavelength cosinus sensor (Aurora 3000). The quantified wavelength dependency (AAE and SAE) are deduced from the measured data. Finally, some correlation between the proximate and ultimate chemical as well as the measured or deduced optical parameters are also revealed.

Keywords: Absorption, Scattering, residential coal, aerosol generation by laser ablation

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