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Seasonal differences of the atmospheric particle size distribution in a metropolitan area in Japan

Fujitani, Y, Kumar, P, Tamura, K, Fushimi, A, Hasegawa, S, Takahashi, K, Tanabe, K, Kobayashi, S and Hirano, S (2012) Seasonal differences of the atmospheric particle size distribution in a metropolitan area in Japan Science of the Total Environment, 437. 339 - 347. ISSN 0048-9697

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Abstract

We compared the effect of ambient temperature observed in two different seasons on the size distribution and particle number concentration (PNC) as a function of distance (up to ~ 250 m) from a major traffic road (25% of the vehicles are heavy-duty diesel vehicles). The modal particle diameter was found between 10 and 30 nm at the roadside in the winter. However, there was no peak for this size range in the summer, even at the roadside. Ambient temperature affects both the atmospheric dilution ratio (DR) and the evaporation rate of particles, thus it affects the decay rate of PNC. We corrected the DR effect in order to focus on the effect of particle evaporation on PNC decay. The decay rate of PNC with DR was found to depend on the season and particle diameter. During the winter, the decay rate for smaller particles (< 30 nm) was much higher (i.e., the concentration decreased significantly against DR), whereas it was low during the summer. In contrast, for particles > 30 nm in diameter, the decay rate was nearly the same during both seasons. This distinction between particles less than or greater than 30 nm in diameter reflects differences in particle volatility properties. Mass-transfer theory was used to estimate evaporation rates of C20–C36 n-alkane particles, which are the major n-alkanes in diesel exhaust particles. The C20–C28 n-alkanes of 30-nm particles completely evaporate at 31.2 °C (summer), and their lifetime is shorter than the transport time of air masses in our region of interest. Absence of the peak at 10–30 nm and the low decay rate of PNC < 30 nm in diameter in the summer were likely due to the evaporation of compounds of similar volatilities comparable to the C20–C36 n-alkanes from particles near the exhaust pipes of vehicles, and complete evaporation of semivolatile materials before they reached the roadside. These results suggest that the lifetime of particles < 30 nm in diameter depends on the ambient temperature, which differs between seasons. This leads us to conclude that these particles show distinctly different spatial distributions depending on the season.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Science of The Total Environment. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Science of The Total Environment, 437(0), October 2012, DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.07.085.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nanoparticles, Diesel exhaust particle, Particle number concentration, PM2.5, Exposure assessment, Evaporation
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Divisions: Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2012 11:42
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 19:50
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/735555

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