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Source Apportionment of Wintertime Gas-Phase and Particle-Phase Air Pollutants Using Organic Compounds as Tracers

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journal contribution
posted on 23.03.2000, 00:00 by James J. Schauer, Glen R. Cass
Two chemical mass balance receptor models are developed which can determine the source contributions to atmospheric pollutant concentrations using organic compounds as tracers. The first model uses particle-phase organic compounds to apportion the primary source contributions to atmospheric fine particulate organic carbon concentrations and fine particle mass concentrations. The second receptor model simultaneously uses both volatile gas-phase hydrocarbons and particle-phase organic compounds as tracers to determine source contributions to non-methane organic gases in the atmosphere. Both models are applied to data collected in California's San Joaquin Valley during two severe wintertime air pollution episodes. Source contributions to fine particle air quality are calculated for two urban sites, Fresno and Bakersfield, and one background site, Kern Wildlife Refuge. Primary particle emissions from hardwood combustion, softwood combustion, diesel engines, meat cooking, and gasoline-powered motor vehicles contribute on average 79% of the airborne fine particle organic compound mass at the urban sites during both episodes with smaller but still measurable contributions from fine particle road dust and natural gas combustion aerosol. Anthropogenic primary particle sources contribute less than 10% of the fine particle mass concentration at the background site. The combined gas-phase and particle-phase organic compound receptor model shows that gasoline-powered motor vehicle exhaust and gasoline vapors are the largest contributors to non-methane organic gases concentrations followed by natural gas leakage. Smaller but statistically significant contributions to organic vapors from wood combustion, meat cooking, and diesel exhaust also are quantified.