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Environ Sci Technol. 2001 Mar 15;35(6):1031-6.

Temporal and spatial studies of autocatalyst-derived platinum, rhodium, and palladium and selected vehicle-derived trace elements in the environment.

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NERC ICP-MS Facility, CEESR, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey.


The distribution of platinum, rhodium, and palladium (platinum-group elements; PGEs) adjacent to two major U.K. roads shows a rapid decrease (more than 1 order of magnitude) away from the road and reflects patterns shown by other traffic-derived trace elements such as Pb and Zn. However, ratios of Pt:Rh remain relatively constant from 0 to 10 m distance, suggesting that at least some of the PGEs are transported away from the source. A temporal study over a 12-month period, of road dust and surface samples, reveals elevated concentrations above background levels, with maximum values of Pt >500 ng g(-1), Rh 70 ng g(-1), and Pd 70 ng g(-1). Concentrations vary considerably throughout the year and show some tentative correlation with rainfall. Element speciation, an essential control on mobility and hence distribution, was investigated, and the results of solubility experiments show that up to 30% of the Pd present dissolves in acid solutions. This indicates that at least some of the Pd is present in a soluble form and is therefore potentially highly mobile.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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