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Article

Molecular Markers in Ambient Air Associated with Biomass Burning in Morelos, México

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Centro de Investigaciones Químicas, Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias Básicas y Aplicadas, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Av. Universidad 1001, Colonia Chamilpa 62209, Mexico
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CONACYT-Centro de Investigaciones Químicas-UAEM, Av. Universidad 1001, Colonia Chamilpa 62209, Mexico
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Laboratorio de Análisis y Sustentabilidad Ambiental, Escuela de Estudios Superiores de Xalostoc, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Ayala, Morelos 62715, Mexico
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Laboratorio de Física Avanzada, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Instituto Literario No. 100 Col. Centro, Toluca C.P. 50000, Mexico
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Dirección General de Desarrollo Sustentable, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Av. Universidad 1001, Cuernavaca, Morelos 62209, Mexico
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Área Académica de Ingeniería y Arquitectura, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo, Carr. Pachuca-Tulancingo km. 4.5 Mineral de la Reforma, Hidalgo 42184, Mexico
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050491
Received: 27 April 2020 / Revised: 5 May 2020 / Accepted: 6 May 2020 / Published: 11 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Air Quality)
Atmospheric particles with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) were collected at two sites located in the urban area of the city of Cuernavaca (Morelos) during a season when a large number of forest fires occurred. Three dicarboxylic acids (malonic, glutaric and succinic) and levoglucosan were analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (ESI-Q-TOF) and soluble potassium (K+) was analyzed by ion chromatography. The concentration of PM2.5 increased on the days when the highest number of forest fires occurred. A strong correlation was observed between levoglucosan and K+, confirming the hypothesis that both are tracers of biomass burning (r = 0.57, p < 0.05). Levoglucosan (average 367.6 ng m−3, Site 2) was the most abundant compound, followed by succinic acid (average 101.7 ng m−3, Site 2), glutaric acid (average 63.2 ng m−3, Site 2), and malonic acid (average 46.9 ng m−3, Site 2), respectively. The ratio of C3/C4 concentrations ranged from 0.5 to 1.2, with an average of 0.8, which suggests great photochemical activity in the Cuernavaca atmosphere. The ratio of K+/levoglucosan concentrations (0.44) indicates that open fires are the main source of these tracers. The positive correlations between PM2.5 and levoglucosan and succinic and malonic acids suggest that such compounds are contributing to secondary organic aerosol particle formation. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest fires; levoglucosan; dicarboxylic acids; open burning forest fires; levoglucosan; dicarboxylic acids; open burning
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MDPI and ACS Style

Arias-Montoya, M.I.; López-Márquez, R.; Murillo-Tovar, M.A.; Guerrero-Alvarez, J.A.; Vergara-Sánchez, J.; Reyes, P.G.; Ramos-Quintana, F.; Montiel-Palma, S.; Saldarriaga-Noreña, H. Molecular Markers in Ambient Air Associated with Biomass Burning in Morelos, México. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 491. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050491

AMA Style

Arias-Montoya MI, López-Márquez R, Murillo-Tovar MA, Guerrero-Alvarez JA, Vergara-Sánchez J, Reyes PG, Ramos-Quintana F, Montiel-Palma S, Saldarriaga-Noreña H. Molecular Markers in Ambient Air Associated with Biomass Burning in Morelos, México. Atmosphere. 2020; 11(5):491. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050491

Chicago/Turabian Style

Arias-Montoya, Mónica I., Rebecca López-Márquez, Mario A. Murillo-Tovar, Jorge A. Guerrero-Alvarez, Josefina Vergara-Sánchez, Pedro G. Reyes, Fernando Ramos-Quintana, Silvia Montiel-Palma, and Hugo Saldarriaga-Noreña. 2020. "Molecular Markers in Ambient Air Associated with Biomass Burning in Morelos, México" Atmosphere 11, no. 5: 491. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050491

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