Characterization of nonpolar organic fine particulate matter in Houston, Texas

Z. W. Yue, Matthew Fraser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fine particle samples were collected in Houston, TX every second day during the summer of 2000 as part of the EPA-sponsored Houston Fine Particulate Matter Supersite program. Nonpolar compounds including n-alkanes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), and petroleum biomarkers were quantified to determine the molecular composition of the organic fraction of ambient fine particles. The results show that n-alkanes dominate other nonpolar compound classes, with Carbon Preference Index (CPI) values ranging from 1.47 to 1.94. Although plant wax alkanes contribute to ambient concentrations of fine particles, the presence of petroleum biomarkers suggests n-alkanes mainly come from anthropogenic sources, and specific species concentrations are used to separate sites by the degree to which motor vehicle and petroleum combustion emissions impact local air quality. Concentrations of PAH indicate that combustion sources in the industrial zone of Houston contribute to ambient fine particle concentrations. Additionally, data collected during a period of widespread haze episode attributed to agricultural burning and wildfires indicate that these sources can periodically dominate other sources of fine particles in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-67
Number of pages8
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Volume38
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Alkanes
Particulate Matter
Paraffins
particulate matter
Petroleum
alkane
Crude oil
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
Biomarkers
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
petroleum
Paraffin waxes
biomarker
Waxes
PAH
combustion
Air quality
Carbon
haze
anthropogenic source

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

Characterization of nonpolar organic fine particulate matter in Houston, Texas. / Yue, Z. W.; Fraser, Matthew.

In: Aerosol Science and Technology, Vol. 38, No. SUPPL. 1, 05.2004, p. 60-67.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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