Chemically and size-resolved particulate matter dry deposition on stone and surrogate surfaces inside and outside the low emission zone of Milan: application of a newly developed “Deposition Box”

Luca Ferrero*, Marco Casati, Lara Nobili, Luca D’Angelo, Grazia Rovelli, Giorgia Sangiorgi, Cristiana Rizzi, Maria Grazia Perrone, Antonio Sansonetti, Claudia Conti, Ezio Bolzacchini, Elena Bernardi, Ivano Vassura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The collection of atmospheric particles on not-filtering substrates via dry deposition, and the subsequent study of the particle-induced material decay, is trivial due to the high number of variables simultaneously acting on the investigated surface. This work reports seasonally resolved data of chemical composition and size distribution of particulate matter deposed on stone and surrogate surfaces obtained using a new method, especially developed at this purpose. A “Deposition Box” was designed allowing the particulate matter dry deposition to occur selectively removing, at the same time, variables that can mask the effect of airborne particles on material decay. A pitched roof avoided rainfall and wind variability; a standardised gentle air exchange rate ensured a continuous “sampling” of ambient air leaving unchanged the sampled particle size distribution and, at the same time, leaving quite calm condition inside the box, allowing the deposition to occur. Thus, the “Deposition Box” represents an affordable tool that can be used complementary to traditional exposure systems. With this system, several exposure campaigns, involving investigated stone materials (ISMs) (Carrara Marble, Botticino limestone, Noto calcarenite and Granite) and surrogate (Quartz, PTFE, and Aluminium) substrates, have been performed in two different sites placed in Milan (Italy) inside and outside the low emission zone. Deposition rates (30–90 μg cm−2 month−1) showed significant differences between sites and seasons, becoming less evident considering long-period exposures due to a positive feedback on the deposition induced by the deposited particles. Similarly, different stone substrates influenced the deposition rates too. The collected deposits have been observed with optical and scanning electron microscopes and analysed by ion chromatography. Ion deposition rates were similar in the two sites during winter, whereas it was greater outside the low emission zone during summer and considering the long-period exposure. The dimensional distribution of the collected deposits showed a significant presence of fine particles in agreement with deposition rate of the ionic fraction. The obtained results allowed to point out the role of the fine particles fraction and the importance of making seasonal studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9402-9415
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Volume25
Issue number10
Early online date19 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Aerosols
  • Chemical composition
  • Dry deposition
  • Material decay
  • Size distribution

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