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Sci Total Environ. 2001 Mar 26;269(1-3):131-44.

Platinum and rhodium distribution in airborne particulate matter and road dust.

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Departamento de Química Analítica, Facultad de Ciencias Química, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.


In this work the platinum and rhodium content in the atmosphere of Madrid was monitored for 1 year at seven different sites. Samples were taken with medium volume PM-10 collectors (< 10 microm) for 48 h and analysed by ICP-MS. The Pt and Rh content was dependent on the sampling site, ranging from < 0.1 to 57.1 and < 0.2 to 12.2 pg m(-3) with a medium value of 12.8 and 3.3 pg m(-3), respectively. These results show that the Pt and Rh content in airborne samples depends on the traffic density per day and also on medium driving speed. Road dust < 63 microm was analysed at the same time and at the same location. The Pt and Rh content at the six sites analysed was in the 31-2252 and 11-182 ng g(-1) range with an average of 317 and 74 ng g(-1), respectively. The average Pt/Rh ratio obtained was 4.3. similar to that obtained for airborne particles (4.0), and agrees with that of the more commonly used gasoline car catalyst [J.J. Mooney, Encyclopaedia of Chemical Technology (1996) 982]. Platinum distribution as a function of particle size in airborne particulate matter was also studied, by sampling with two high-volume sample collectors, a five-stage WRAC (from 10 to 65.3 microm and total) and a seven-stages PM-10) cascade impactor (from 9 to < 0.39 microm). Platinum is associated with a wide range of particle diameters. Due to the ultratrace level of Pt in airborne samples, its distribution in the atmosphere could not be considered as homogeneous. No trend could be established in Pt distribution in the different fractions, except that in most cases the highest value of Pt was obtained in the < 0.39-microm fraction. The Pt content was usually high in airborne samples when the Pb, Ce, Zr and Hf content was also high, thus confirming that the source of these pollutants is from traffic.

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