Chemistry of aerosol particles and fog droplets during fall-winter season in the Po Valley

Giulianelli, Lara (2014) Chemistry of aerosol particles and fog droplets during fall-winter season in the Po Valley , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze ambientali: tutela e gestione delle risorse naturali, 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6300.
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Air quality represents a key issue in the so-called pollution “hot spots”: environments in which anthropogenic sources are concentrated and dispersion of pollutants is limited. One of these environments, the Po Valley, normally experiences exceedances of PM10 and PM2.5 concentration limits, especially in winter when the ventilation of the lower layers of the atmosphere is reduced. This thesis provides a highlight of the chemical properties of particulate matter and fog droplets in the Po Valley during the cold season, when fog occurrence is very frequent. Fog-particles interactions were investigated with the aim to determine their impact on the regional air quality. Size-segregated aerosol samples were collected in Bologna, urban site, and San Pietro Capofiume (SPC), rural site, during two campaigns (November 2011; February 2013) in the frame of Supersito project. The comparison between particles size-distribution and chemical composition in both sites showed the relevant contribution of the regional background and secondary processes in determining the Po Valley aerosol concentration. Occurrence of fog in November 2011 campaign in SPC allowed to investigate the role of fog formation and fog chemistry in the formation, processing and deposition of PM10. Nucleation scavenging was investigated with relation to the size and the chemical composition of particles. We found that PM1 concentration is reduced up to 60% because of fog scavenging. Furthermore, aqueous-phase secondary aerosol formation mechanisms were investigated through time-resolved measurements. In SPC fog samples have been systematically collected and analysed since the nineties; a 20 years long database has been assembled. This thesis reports for the first time the results of this long time series of measurements, showing a decrease of sulphate and nitrate concentration and an increase of pH that reached values close to neutrality. A detailed discussion about the occurred changes in fog water composition over two decades is presented.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Giulianelli, Lara
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze della terra e dell'ambiente
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
size-segregated aerosol, fog droplets, aerosol-fog interactions, chemical composition, air quality
Data di discussione
5 Maggio 2014

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