Passive sampling to capture the spatial variability of coarse particles by composition in Cleveland, OH

Eric J. Sawvel, Robert Willis, Roger R. West, Gary S. Casuccio, Gary Norris, Naresh Kumar, Davyda Hammond, Thomas M. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Passive samplers deployed at 25 sites for three, week-long intervals were used to characterize spatial variability in the mass and composition of coarse particulate matter (PM10-2.5) in Cleveland, OH in summer 2008. The size and composition of individual particles determined using computer-controlled scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (CCSEM-EDS) was then used to estimate PM10-2.5 concentrations (μgm-3) and its components in 13 particle classes. The highest PM10-2.5mean mass concentrations were observed at three central industrial sites (35μgm-3, 43μgm-3, and 48μgm-3), whereas substantially lower mean concentrations were observed to the west and east of this area at suburban background sites (13μgm-3 and 15μgm-3). PM10-2.5 mass and components associated with steel and cement production (Fe-oxide and Ca-rich) exhibited substantial heterogeneity with elevated concentrations observed in the river valley, stretching from Lake Erie south through the central industrial area and in the case of Fe-oxide to a suburban valley site. Other components (e.g., Si/Al-rich typical of crustal material) were considerably less heterogeneous. This work shows that some species of coarse particles are considerably more spatially heterogeneous than others in an urban area with a strong industrial core. It also demonstrates that passive sampling coupled with analysis by CCSEM-EDS is a useful tool to assess the spatial variability of particulate pollutants by composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalAtmospheric Environment
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Computer controlled scanning electron microscopy
  • PM particulate matter
  • Single particle analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Environmental Science(all)


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