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Environmental Engineering Research 1996;1(1): 43-54.
Distributional Characteristics of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Urban Atmosphere
Sung Ok Baek, and Roger Perry
1Dept. of Environmental Engineering, Yeungnam University, Kyungsan, 713-749, Korea
2Dept. of Civil Engineering, Imperial College, University of London, London SW7 2 BU, UK
Corresponding Author: Sung Ok Baek ,
Received: January 29, 1996;  Accepted: March 10, 1996.
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ABSTRACT
The distributional characteristics of PAH were investigated in this study with respect to two aspects : firstly the gas-particle distributions of measured concentrations of individual PAH, and secondly the mass distributions of PAH associated with airborne particulate matter as a function of aerodynamic particle size. The ambient air quality monitoring was undertaken at Exhibition Road, adjacent to Imperial College in central London. A total of 48 weeks monitoring was carried out from October 1985 to September 1987. Distri¬butions of PAH between the gas and particulate phases revealed that relative proportions of gaseous PAH in total concentrations are proportional to the volatilities of the individual PAH. Marked seasonal variations of the gas-particle distributions were also apparent for each PAH. The relationship between the gas-particle distribu¬tions of the 3 to 5 rings PAH and ambient temperature was well described by the Langmuir adsorption model. Ambient aerosols collected in this study showed a tendency to have a bimodal distribution, while the mass distri¬butions of PAH with respect to particle size appeared to be unimodal with peaks occurring exclusively in the range of 0.4 to 1.1 pm. The PAH concentrations were found to be highly dependent on the size of the ambient aerosols with which they are associated, clearly demonstrating that most of the particulate PAH are associated with aerosols in the respirable size range.
Keywords: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) | Gas-Particle Partition | Phase Distribution | Particle Size Distribution | Langmuir Adsorption
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