Concentrations and source apportionment of PM10 and associated elemental and ionic species in a lignite-burning power generation area of southern Greece.Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2013; 20(10):7214-30ES
Ambient concentrations of PM10 and associated elemental and ionic species were measured over the cold and the warm months of 2010 at an urban and two rural sites located in the lignite-fired power generation area of Megalopolis in Peloponnese, southern Greece. The PM10 concentrations at the urban site (44.2 ± 33.6 μg m(-3)) were significantly higher than those at the rural sites (23.7 ± 20.4 and 22.7 ± 26.9 μg m(-3)). Source apportionment of PM10 and associated components was accomplished by an advanced computational procedure, the robotic chemical mass balance model (RCMB), using chemical profiles for a variety of local fugitive dust sources (power plant fly ash, flue gas desulfurization wet ash, feeding lignite, infertile material from the opencast mines, paved and unpaved road dusts, soil), which were resuspended and sampled through a PM10 inlet onto filters and then chemically analyzed, as well as of other common sources such as vehicular traffic, residential oil combustion, biomass burning, uncontrolled waste burning, marine aerosol, and secondary aerosol formation. Geological dusts (road/soil dust) were found to be major PM10 contributors in both the cold and warm periods of the year, with average annual contribution of 32.6 % at the urban site vs. 22.0 and 29.0 % at the rural sites. Secondary aerosol also appeared to be a significant source, contributing 22.1 % at the urban site in comparison to 30.6 and 28.7 % at the rural sites. At all sites, the contribution of biomass burning was most significant in winter (28.2 % at the urban site vs. 14.6 and 24.6 % at the rural sites), whereas vehicular exhaust contribution appeared to be important mostly in the summer (21.9 % at the urban site vs. 11.5 and 10.5 % at the rural sites). The highest contribution of fly ash (33.2 %) was found at the rural site located to the north of the power plants during wintertime, when winds are favorable. In the warm period, the highest contribution of fly ash was found at the rural site located to the south of the power plants, although it was less important (7.2 %). Moderate contributions of fly ash were found at the urban site (5.4 and 2.7 % in the cold and the warm period, respectively). Finally, the mine field was identified as a minor PM10 source, occasionally contributing with lignite dust and/or deposited wet ash dust under dry summer conditions, with the summertime contributions ranging between 3.1 and 11.0 % among the three sites. The non-parametric bootstrapped potential source contribution function analysis was further applied to localize the regions of sources apportioned by the RCMB. For the majority of sources, source regions appeared as being located within short distances from the sampling sites (within the Peloponnesse Peninsula). More distant Greek areas of the NNE sector also appeared to be source regions for traffic emissions and secondary calcium sulfate dust.