This article focuses on the source apportionment of air pollution in a specific northeastern part of the Czech Republic. The research area, located around the city of Třinec, is significantly affected by a complex spectrum of air pollution sources, including local residential heating (coal and wood burning), heavy industry (mainly iron and steel production), road traffic, and regional and long-range air pollution transport from the nearby cities, Poland, and other countries. The main pollution sources contributing to the total concentration of fine suspended particles (PM2.5
) were evaluated on the basis of the measurements at three sites and on subsequent positive matrix factorization modeling. The six major air pollution factors were identified, and their relative and absolute contributions were quantified. The result of the study is that the most important current task of air protection is to reduce the residential emissions from solid fuels, which are responsible for approximately 50–60% of PM2.5
concentration, followed by the regional primary and secondary aerosol sources (up to 40% of the total PM2.5
aerosol mass). Lower contributions have been identified in the case of resuspended mineral and biogenic particles (15–20%), long-range (trans-European) air pollution transport (up to 10%), and heavy industry (up to 10% in the most affected location). A detailed discussion has been provided considering specific regional EC (elemental carbon)–OC (organic carbon) relations in the region with traditional coal-burning for household heating which complicate the interpretation of the PMF (Positive Matrix Factorization) results, especially due to the interference between the traffic, residential heating, and biogenic aerosol factors.
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