ECN publication
Carbon (EC/OC) concentrations as derived from routine PM measurements in the Netherlands
Brink, H.M. ten; Weijers, E.P.; Arkel, F. van; Jonge, D. de
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Biomass, Coal and Environmental Research 25-3-2011
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-O--10-046 Other
Number of pages: Full text:
30 Download PDF  

This study gives an estimate of carbon content of particulate matter (PM) in the Netherlands. Therefore the contribution of elementary carbon (EC) and organic carbon (OC) has been analyzed for six measurement locations. Especially EC and OC are presently linked to the health effects of PM, where as the necessary knowledge is limited. Since measurements of EC and OC include large uncertainties we devoted special attention to measurement techniques and their robustness. The average carbon contribution of EC and OC to PM is about 5 µg.m-3 for PM10 and 4 µg.m-3 for PM2.5. Thirty percent should be added to these amounts to account for the elements of carbonaceous components, such as oxygen and hydrogen: for PM10 the carbonaceous contribution varied between 5 µg.m-3 at the rural to 7.5 µg.m-3 at the urban traffic measurement locations. The ruralto-urban traffic increment of 2.5 µg.m-3 was mainly linked to an EC increase. The measurement technique according to the reference method to determine PM10 leads due to a measurement artefact to an overestimation of the carbon content of PM10 and therefore also of PM10. The carbon contents here are overestimated by about 1 µg.m-3.

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