Online molecular characterization of fine particulate matter in Port Angeles, WA: Evidence for a major impact from residential wood smoke

Cassandra J. Gaston, Felipe D. Lopez-Hilfiker, Lauren E. Whybrew, Odelle Hadley, Fran McNair, Honglian Gao, Daniel A. Jaffe, Joel A. Thornton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present on-line molecular composition measurements of wintertime particulate matter (PM) during 2014 using an iodide-adduct high-resolution, time-of-flight chemical ionization mass spectrometer (HR-TOF-CIMS) coupled to a Filter Inlet for Gases and AEROsols (FIGAERO). These measurements were part of an intensive effort to characterize PM in the region with a focus on ultrafine particle sources. The technique was used to detect and quantify different classes of wood burning tracers, including levoglucosan, methoxyphenols, and nitrocatechols, among other compounds in near real-time. During the campaign, particulate mass concentrations of compounds with the same molecular composition as levoglucosan ranged from 0.002 to 19 μg/m3 with a median mass concentration of 0.9 μg/m3. Wood burning markers, in general, showed a strong diurnal pattern peaking at night and in the early morning. This diurnal profile combined with cold, stagnant conditions, wind directions from predominantly residential areas, and observations of lower combustion efficiency at night support residential wood burning as a dominant source of wintertime PM in Port Angeles. This finding has implications for improving wintertime air quality in the region by encouraging the use of high efficiency wood-burning stoves or other cleaner home heating options throughout the relevant domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-107
Number of pages9
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Volume138
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Keywords

  • Air quality
  • Biomass burning aerosol
  • Levoglucosan
  • Nitrophenol
  • Residential wood burning
  • Volatility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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