Rachel Aga (Committee Member), Steven Higgins (Committee Chair), Audrey McGowin (Advisor)
Master of Science (MS)
Quartz filters from high-volume air samplers of particulate matter of a size less than 10 micrometers in diameter (PM10) located in Moraine and Yellow Springs, Ohio, were obtained from the Regional Air Pollution Control Agency and analyzed for levoglucosan, metals, and the EPA 16 priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Average concentration of levoglucosan increased as ambient temperature decreased. Winter concentrations of levoglucosan for Moraine and Yellow Springs were 39.41 ± 31.58 µg/g and 51.52 ± 27.44 µg/g, respectively, which is due to a greater amount of residential wood burning in the colder months. The concentration of biomass burning marker potassium correlated with levoglucosan greater in Moraine (R2=0.6097) than in Yellow Springs (R2=0.4035), indicating the presence of other, most likely agricultural, inputs of potassium in Yellow Springs. The mean concentrations of aluminum in Moraine and Yellow Springs were 184.6 ± 96.67 ng/m3 and 138.6 ± 84.94 ng/m3, respectively. The mean concentrations of silicon in Moraine and Yellow Springs were 529.1 ± 228.4 ng/m3 and 547.4 ± 203.6 ng/m3, respectively. Aluminum and silicon represent two commonly found elements in road dust, and their variability indicates the lack of predictability that road dust has on air quality. The quantity of PAHs in Yellow Springs on average was greater than that of Moraine (2075 ± 660 µg/g vs. 1620 ± 1324 µg/g). An incredibly large amount of PAHs measured on 2/16/14 (142.322 ng/m3), coupled with high PM2.5 values, low wind speeds, variable wind direction, low temperature and high humidity around the same date express the possibility that a temperature inversion occurred in Yellow Springs during the middle of February 2014. When compared to the PM2.5 & PM10 data obtained by RAPCA and this study's analysis, the occurrence of an inversion was supported; however, low levoglucosan and potassium concentrations indicate a minimal contribution from wood smoke. The combined use of three analytical methods allowed for a more comprehensive understanding of atmospheric particulate matter in the Dayton metro area to be achieved.
Department or Program
Department of Chemistry
Year Degree Awarded
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