Time-dependent source apportionment of submicron organic aerosol for a rural site in an alpine valley using a rolling positive matrix factorisation (PMF) window.

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From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 21, Issue 19)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Report; Author abstract
Length: 617 words

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Abstract :

We collected 1 year of aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ACSM) data in Magadino, a village located in the south of the Swiss Alpine region, one of Switzerland's most polluted areas. We analysed the mass spectra of organic aerosol (OA) by positive matrix factorisation (PMF) using Source Finder Professional (SoFi Pro) to retrieve the origins of OA. Therein, we deployed a rolling algorithm, which is closer to the measurement, to account for the temporal changes in the source profiles. As the first-ever application of rolling PMF with multilinear engine (ME-2) analysis on a yearlong dataset that was collected from a rural site, we resolved two primary OA factors (traffic-related hydrocarbon-like OA (HOA) and biomass burning OA (BBOA)), one mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) 58-related OA (58-OA) factor, a less oxidised oxygenated OA (LO-OOA) factor, and a more oxidised oxygenated OA (MO-OOA) factor. HOA showed stable contributions to the total OA through the whole year ranging from 8.1 % to 10.1 %, while the contribution of BBOA showed an apparent seasonal variation with a range of 8.3 %-27.4 % (highest during winter, lowest during summer) and a yearly average of 17.1 %. OOA (sum of LO-OOA and MO-OOA) contributed 71.6 % of the OA mass, varying from 62.5 % (in winter) to 78 % (in spring and summer). The 58-OA factor mainly contained nitrogen-related variables which appeared to be pronounced only after the filament switched. However, since the contribution of this factor was insignificant (2.1 %), we did not attempt to interpolate its potential source in this work. The uncertainties (Ï) for the modelled OA factors (i.e. rotational uncertainty and statistical variability in the sources) varied from ±4 % (58-OA) to a maximum of ±40 % (LO-OOA). Considering that BBOA and LO-OOA (showing influences of biomass burning in winter) had significant contributions to the total OA mass, we suggest reducing and controlling biomass-burning-related residential heating as a mitigation strategy for better air quality and lower PM levels in this region or similar locations. In Appendix A, we conduct a head-to-head comparison between the conventional seasonal PMF analysis and the rolling mechanism. We find similar or slightly improved results in terms of mass concentrations, correlations with external tracers, and factor profiles of the constrained POA factors. The rolling results show smaller scaled residuals and enhanced correlations between OOA factors and corresponding inorganic salts compared to those of the seasonal solutions, which was most likely because the rolling PMF analysis can capture the temporal variations in the oxidation processes for OOA components. Specifically, the time-dependent factor profiles of MO-OOA and LO-OOA can well explain the temporal viabilities of two main ions for OOA factors, m/z 44 (CO2+) and m/z 43 (mostly C.sub.2 H.sub.3 O.sup.+). Therefore, this rolling PMF analysis provides a more realistic source apportionment (SA) solution with time-dependent OA sources. The rolling results also show good agreement with offline Aerodyne aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) SA results from filter samples, except for in winter. The latter discrepancy is likely because the online measurement can capture the fast oxidation processes of biomass burning sources, in contrast to the 24 h filter samples. This study demonstrates the strengths of the rolling mechanism, provides a comprehensive criterion list for ACSM users to obtain reproducible SA results, and is a role model for similar analyses of such worldwide available data.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A678672207