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Open AccessArticle

Iron Speciation of Natural and Anthropogenic Dust by Spectroscopic and Chemical Methods

Dipartimento di Chimica, Biologia e Biotecnologie, Università degli Studi di Perugia, via Elce di Sotto 8, 06123 Perugia, Italy
CNR-IBIMET, via P. Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
SMAArt, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Piazza dell’Università 1, 06123 Perugia, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze Farmaceutiche, Università degli Studi di Perugia, via A. Fabretti 48, 06123 Perugia, Italy
Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale, Universitá degli Studi di Genova, via Dodecaneso 31, 16146 Genova, Italy
CNR-IOM-OGG c/o ESRF LISA CRG, 71 Avenue des Martyrs, F-38043 Grenoble, France
CNR-ISAC, via P. Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 8;
Received: 23 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 25 December 2018 / Published: 29 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Dust: Sources, Atmospheric Processing and Impacts)
PDF [748 KB, uploaded 29 December 2018]


In this work, we have characterized the iron local structure in samples of two different types of atmospheric dust using X-ray absorption spectroscopy and selective leaching experiments. Specifically, we have investigated samples of long-range transported Saharan dust and freshly emitted steel plant fumes with the aim of individuating possible fingerprints of iron in the two cases. Findings include (1) prevalence of octahedral coordinated Fe 3 + for all samples; (2) presence of 6-fold coordinated Fe 3 + , aluminosilicates and iron oxy(hydr)oxides in Saharan dust and (3) of Fe-bearing spinel-like structures in the industrial fumes; (4) general predominance of the residual insoluble fraction with a notable difference: 69% for Saharan dust and 93% for steel production emissions, associated with aluminosilicates and non-reducible iron oxy(hydr)oxides, and Fe spinels, respectively. The remarkable differences between the X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) spectra and leaching test results for the two sample types suggest the possibility to exploit the present approach in more complex cases. To this aim, two additional case studies of mixed aerosol samples are presented and discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: iron speciation; XANES; EXAFS; selective leaching experiments; Saharan dust; steel plant emissions iron speciation; XANES; EXAFS; selective leaching experiments; Saharan dust; steel plant emissions

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Petroselli, C.; Moroni, B.; Crocchianti, S.; Selvaggi, R.; Vivani, R.; Soggia, F.; Grotti, M.; D’Acapito, F.; Cappelletti, D. Iron Speciation of Natural and Anthropogenic Dust by Spectroscopic and Chemical Methods. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 8.

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