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Environ Sci Technol. 2005 May 1;39(9):3245-54.

Optimization-based source apportionment of PM2.5 incorporating gas-to-particle ratios.

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School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0512, USA.


A modified approach to PM2.5 source apportionment is developed, using source indicative SO2/PM2.5, CO/PM2.5, and NOx/PM2.5 ratios as constraints, in addition to the commonly used particulate-phase source profiles. Additional information from using gas-to-particle ratios assists in reducing collinearity between source profiles, a problem that often limits the source-identification capabilities and accuracy of traditional receptor models. This is especially true in the absence of speciated organic carbon measurements. In the approach presented here, the solution is based on a global optimization mechanism, minimizing the weighted error between apportioned and ambient levels of PM2.5 components, while introducing constraints on calculated source contributions that ensure that the ambient gas-phase pollutants (SO2, CO, and NOy) are reasonable. This technique was applied to a 25-month dataset of daily PM2.5 measurements (total mass and composition) at the Atlanta Jefferson Street SEARCH site. Results indicate that this technique was able to split the contributions of mobile sources (gasoline and diesel vehicles) more accurately than particulate-phase source apportionment methods. Furthermore, this technique was able to better quantify the direct contribution (primary PM2.5) of coal-fired power plants to ambient PM2.5 levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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