Elemental composition of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Skopje, FYR of Macedonia
Journal article, 2011
Aerosol samples were collected at an urban background site in Skopje, Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia, during four measurement campaigns from December 2006 to October 2007. An impactor was used to collect particulate matter (PM2.5) aerosol particles and the samples were analyzed for the concentrations of particulate mass, black carbon (BC), and 17 elements. The 12-h average PM2.5 concentrations varied in the range 10-140 mu g m(-3) with the highest concentrations measured during wintertime pollution episodes and during the summer period. Pair-wise correlations and crustal enrichment were studied and the data set was analyzed by factor analysis and positive matrix factorization. Major aerosol components were identified as mineral dust (main observed tracers Si, K, Ca, Ti, Fe, Sr, and Rb), combustion (BC, S, K, V, and Ni), traffic-related aerosol (Pb and Zn), and secondary sulfate combined with mineral dust. Combustion sources dominated during wintertime and were likely due to heavy oil combustion, biomass burning, and other industrial activities within the city area. Mineral dust was observed throughout the year, but the concentrations peaked during the unusually hot and dry summer of 2007. It is concluded that Skopje suffers from serious air pollution due to central and residential heating, the transport sector, and industrial activities within the city, and contributions from mineral dust increase the PM2.5 concentrations under dry periods. Topography and meteorological conditions aggravate the problems and make the air quality comparable with the conditions in other highly polluted cities in Southern Europe and worldwide.