Assessment of inorganic content of PM(2.5) particles sampled in a rural area north-east of Hanoi, Vietnam.
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2006
Atmospheric aerosols from seven rural sites in northern Vietnam, east of Hanoi, were sampled and analyzed. The aim of the study was to evaluate trace elemental and black carbon (BC) concentrations in fine particles (PM(2.5)) and to investigate the influence of the Pha Lai power plant and other pollution sources on regional air quality. Seven measurement stations were set up at selected rural sites and a campaign consisting of 12 two-day measurement periods was conducted from the end of May until the end of October 2000. At each location a pair of samplers was installed consisting of a cyclone loaded with Teflon filters and a modified Millipore air monitoring cartridge loaded with glass fibre filters. The obtained samples were analyzed for trace elements by Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (EDXRF), while a black smoke detector was used for BC analysis. Seventeen trace elements were analyzed; Br, Ca, Cl, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mn, Ni, Pb, Rb, S, Se, Sr, Ti, V and Zn and their concentrations evaluated. The results showed that BC, Ca, Cl, Fe, K and S dominated in the sampled atmospheric aerosols. The measured concentrations of the potentially hazardous trace elements Cr, Mn, Ni and Pb were all below the limits defined by Vietnamese standards of ambient air quality. Statistical evaluations indicated that coal and heavy fuel oil combustion were major sources of atmospheric pollutants in the area and that biomass burning and road transport had a marked influence on regional air quality. It was concluded that the Pha Lai power plant was the major source of coal combustion emissions. Trace element emissions originating from river transportation were suggested as another major source of atmospheric pollutants. The results indicate that the elemental concentrations in PM(2.5) are strongly influenced by seasonal variations. Further measurements are required to identify the impact of long-range transported continental air masses on the air quality of the investigated rural area.