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Hidden black carbon air pollution in hilly rural areas - a case study of Dinaric depression
Kristina Glojek, Asta Gregorič, Griša Močnik, Andrea Cuesta-Mosquera, A. Wiedensohler, Luka Drinovec, Matej Ogrin, 2020, original scientific article

Abstract: Air pollution is not an exclusively urban problem as wood burning is a widespread practice in rural areas. As we lack information on the air quality situation in rural mountainous regions, our aim is to examine equivalent black carbon (eBC) pollution in a typical rural karst area in the settlement of Loški Potok (Slovenia). eBC mass concentrations were measured by Aethalometer (AE-33) at two sites in Retje karst depression. The rural village station was located at the bottom of the karst depression whereas the rural background station was positioned at the top of the hill. We showthe diurnal variation of equivalent black carbon mass concentrations for different seasons. In the populated karst depression, the major source of eBC pollution are households using wood as a heating fuel reaching the highest mass concentrations in winter. Diurnal pattern of eBC from biomass burning and traffic differ due to different source activity and it is influenced by typical formation of a cold air pool from late afternoon until late morning, restricting the dispersion of local emissions. The large difference in mass concentrations between the lowest part of the village (rural station) and the top of the hill (rural background station) indicates that in a vertically stratified and stable atmosphere local sources of black carbon have a major impact onair quality conditions in the area studied. Since in Alpine and Dinaric regions there are many similar inhabited areas, we can expect similar air quality conditions also in other rural hilly areas with limited self-cleaning air capacity.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: air pollution, black carbon, hidden geographies, diurnal variation, biomass burning, relief depressions, Loški Potok, Slovenia
Published: 04.01.2021; Views: 1201; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (1,15 MB)

Intercomparison and characterization of 23 Aethalometers under laboratory and ambient air conditions:
Björn Briel, Vadimas Dudoitis, Javier Fernández-García, Paul Buckley, Sascha Pfeifer, Maria Cruz Minguillon, Thomas Müller, Luka Drinovec, Andrea Cuesta-Mosquera, Griša Močnik, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Aerosolized black carbon is monitored worldwide to quantify its impact on air quality and climate. Given its importance, measurements of black carbon mass concentrations must be conducted with instruments operating in quality-checked and ensured conditions to generate data which are reliable and comparable temporally and geographically. In this study, we report the results from the largest characterization and intercomparison of filter-based absorption photometers, the Aethalometer model AE33, belonging to several European monitoring networks. Under controlled laboratory conditions, a total of 23 instruments measured mass concentrations of black carbon from three well-characterized aerosol sources: synthetic soot, nigrosin particles, and ambient air from the urban background of Leipzig, Germany. The objective was to investigate the individual performance of the instruments and their comparability; we analyzed the response of the instruments to the different aerosol sources and the impact caused by the use of obsolete filter materials and the application of maintenance activities. Differences in the instrument-to-instrument variabilities from equivalent black carbon (eBC) concentrations reported at 880 nm were determined before maintenance activities (for soot measurements, average deviation from total least square regression was −2.0 % and the range −16 % to 7 %; for nigrosin measurements, average deviation was 0.4 % and the range −15 % to 17 %), and after they were carried out (for soot measurements, average deviation was −1.0 % and the range −14 % to 8 %; for nigrosin measurements, the average deviation was 0.5 % and the range −12 % to 15 %). The deviations are in most of the cases explained by the type of filter material employed by the instruments, the total particle load on the filter, and the flow calibration. The results of this intercomparison activity show that relatively small unit-to-unit variability of AE33-based particle light absorbing measurements is possible with well-maintained instruments. It is crucial to follow the guidelines for maintenance activities and the use of the proper filter tape in the AE33 to ensure high quality and comparable black carbon (BC) measurements among international observational networks.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: black carbon, aerosol, absorption, filter absorption photometer, aethaloemter
Published: 03.05.2021; Views: 939; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (5,57 MB)

The impact of temperature inversions on black carbon and particle mass concentrations in a mountainous area
Miha Markelj, Maja Remškar, Martin Rigler, Irena Ježek, Kay Weinhold, Matej Ogrin, Asta Gregorič, Luka Drinovec, Andrea Cuesta-Mosquera, Honey Dawn C. Alas, Kristina Glojek, Griša Močnik, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Residential wood combustion is a widespread practice in Europe with a serious impact on air quality, especially in mountainous areas. While there is a significant number of studies conducted in deep urbanized valleys and basins, little is known about the air pollution processes in rural shallow hollows, where around 30 % of the people in mountainous areas across Europe live. We aim to determine the influence of ground temperature inversions on wood combustion aerosol pollution in hilly, rural areas. The study uses Retje karst hollow (Loški Potok, Slovenia) as a representative site for mountainous and hilly rural areas in central and south-eastern Europe with residential wood combustion. Sampling with a mobile monitoring platform along the hollow was performed in December 2017 and January 2018. The backpack mobile monitoring platform was used for the determination of equivalent black carbon (eBC) and particulate matter (PM) mass concentrations along the hollow. To ensure high quality of mobile measurement data, intercomparisons of mobile instruments with reference instruments were performed at two air quality stations during every run. Our study showed that aerosol pollution events in the relief depression were associated with high local emission intensities originating almost entirely from residential wood burning and shallow temperature inversions (58 m on average). The eBC and PM mass concentrations showed stronger associations with the potential temperature gradient (R2=0.8) than with any other meteorological parameters taken into account (ambient temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and precipitation). The strong association between the potential temperature gradient and pollutant concentrations suggests that even a small number of emission sources (total 243 households in the studied hollow) in similar hilly and mountainous rural areas with frequent temperature inversions can significantly increase the levels of eBC and PM and deteriorate local air quality. During temperature inversions the measured mean eBC and PM2.5 mass concentrations in the whole hollow were as high as 4.5±2.6 and 48.0 ± 27.7 µg m−3, respectively, which is comparable to larger European urban centres.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: air pollution, black carbon, sources, temperature inversion, mountainous area
Published: 03.05.2022; Views: 217; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (7,11 MB)

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