Vapor-phase and fine particulate matter concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons measured during the winter months in a northern rocky mountain urban airshed

Tony J. Ward, Garon C. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A fine particulate matter (PM2.5) sampling program was conducted in Missoula, MT, to investigate both the particle and vapor phases of PM2.5-associated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) found in a northern Rocky Mountain urban airshed. Twenty-four-hour samples were collected during the cold winter months of January through April 2002, when many of the more volatile organic components of PM2.5 were expected to be found in the condensed particle form. To meet analytical detection limits, each of the 12 individual sample days were aggregated into four total filter and polyurethane foam (PUF) samples, respectively, with each aggregate containing 3 sample days. Quartz filter (particle-phase PAHs) and PUF (vapor-phase PAHs) aggregates were analyzed separately for 18 individual PAHs and phenolics by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Results showed that 87% of the PM2.5-associated phenolics and PAHs measured in this study were found in the vapor phase. PM2.5-associated gas/particle partition coefficients (Kp,2.5) ranged from 0 for the lighter phenolics and PAHs to -0.1 for some of the heavier PAHs, such as fluoranthene and pyrene. Calculating Kp,2.5 for the heaviest measured PAHs was not feasible because of low or undetectable concentrations in the vapor phases of these compounds. Phenolics and two-ringed and three-ringed PAHs were found almost exclusively in the vapor phase. Four-ringed PAHs were distributed between the particle and vapor phases, with more mass measured in the vapor phase. Very little five-ringed and higher PAHs were measured from either the filter or PUF sampling medium. These results provide information on both the concentrations and different phases of PM2.5-associated PAHs measured during the winter months in a northern Rocky Mountain urban airshed, when concentrations of PM2.5 are generally at their highest compared with the rest of the year.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1327-1334
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Volume55
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2005

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