Atmosphere 2014, 5(2), 252-272; doi:10.3390/atmos5020252
Article

Assessing the Influence of Seasonal and Spatial Variations on the Estimation of Secondary Organic Carbon in Urban Particulate Matter by Applying the EC-Tracer Method

1,2,†,* email, 3email, 4email, 2email and 1email
Received: 15 January 2014; in revised form: 22 March 2014 / Accepted: 16 April 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: The elemental carbon (EC)-tracer method was applied to PM10 and PM1 data of three sampling sites in the City of Berlin from February to October 2010. The sites were characterized by differing exposure to traffic and vegetation. The aim was to determine the secondary organic carbon (SOC) concentration and to describe the parameters influencing the application of the EC-tracer method. The evaluation was based on comparisons with results obtained from positive matrix factorization (PMF) applied to the same samples. To obtain site- and seasonal representative primary OC/EC-ratios ([OC/EC]p), the EC-tracer method was performed separately for each station, and additionally discrete for samples with high and low contribution of biomass burning. Estimated SOC-concentrations for all stations were between 11% and 33% of total OC. SOC-concentrations obtained with PMF exceeded EC-tracer results more than 100% at the park in the period with low biomass burning emissions in PM10. The deviations were besides others attributed to the high ratio of biogenic to combustion emissions and to direct exposure to vegetation. The occurrences of biomass burning emissions in contrast lead to increased SOC-concentrations compared to PMF in PM10. The obtained results distinguish that the EC-tracer-method provides well comparable results with PMF if sites are strongly influenced by one characteristic primary combustion source, but was found to be adversely influenced by direct and relatively high biogenic emissions.
Keywords: urban aerosol; secondary aerosol; EC-tracer; PMF; vegetation; biomass burning
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wagener, S.; Langner, M.; Hansen, U.; Moriske, H.-J.; Endlicher, W.R. Assessing the Influence of Seasonal and Spatial Variations on the Estimation of Secondary Organic Carbon in Urban Particulate Matter by Applying the EC-Tracer Method. Atmosphere 2014, 5, 252-272.

AMA Style

Wagener S, Langner M, Hansen U, Moriske H-J, Endlicher WR. Assessing the Influence of Seasonal and Spatial Variations on the Estimation of Secondary Organic Carbon in Urban Particulate Matter by Applying the EC-Tracer Method. Atmosphere. 2014; 5(2):252-272.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wagener, Sandra; Langner, Marcel; Hansen, Ute; Moriske, Heinz-Jörn; Endlicher, Wilfried R. 2014. "Assessing the Influence of Seasonal and Spatial Variations on the Estimation of Secondary Organic Carbon in Urban Particulate Matter by Applying the EC-Tracer Method." Atmosphere 5, no. 2: 252-272.

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