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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 10, issue 6 | Copyright
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 10, 2061-2076, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-10-2061-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 07 Jun 2017

Research article | 07 Jun 2017

Elemental composition of ambient aerosols measured with high temporal resolution using an online XRF spectrometer

Markus Furger1, María Cruz Minguillón2, Varun Yadav3, Jay G. Slowik1, Christoph Hüglin4, Roman Fröhlich1, Krag Petterson3, Urs Baltensperger1, and André S. H. Prévôt1 Markus Furger et al.
  • 1Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Jordi Girona 18-26, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
  • 3Cooper Environmental Services (CES), 9403 SW Nimbus Avenue, Beaverton, OR 97008, USA
  • 4Laboratory for Air Pollution/Environmental Technology, Empa, Überlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland

Abstract. The Xact 625 Ambient Metals Monitor was tested during a 3-week field campaign at the rural, traffic-influenced site Härkingen in Switzerland during the summer of 2015. The field campaign encompassed the Swiss National Day fireworks event, providing increased concentrations and unique chemical signatures compared to non-fireworks (or background) periods. The objective was to evaluate the data quality by intercomparison with other independent measurements and test its applicability for aerosol source quantification. The Xact was configured to measure 24 elements in PM10 with 1h time resolution. Data quality was evaluated for 10 24h averages of Xact data by intercomparison with 24h PM10 filter data analysed with ICP-OES for major elements, ICP-MS for trace elements, and gold amalgamation atomic absorption spectrometry for Hg. Ten elements (S, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Ba, Pb) showed excellent correlation between the compared methods, with r2 values  ≥ 0.95. However, the slopes of the regressions between Xact 625 and ICP data varied from 0.97 to 1.8 (average 1.28) and thus indicated generally higher Xact elemental concentrations than ICP for these elements. Possible reasons for these differences are discussed, but further investigations are needed. For the remaining elements no conclusions could be drawn about their quantification for various reasons, mainly detection limit issues. An indirect intercomparison of hourly values was performed for the fireworks peak, which brought good agreement of total masses when the Xact data were corrected with the regressions from the 24h value intercomparison. The results demonstrate that multi-metal characterization at high-time-resolution capability of Xact is a valuable and practical tool for ambient monitoring.

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An Xact 625 Ambient Metals Monitor was tested during a 3-week summer field campaign at a rural, traffic-influenced site in Switzerland. The objective was to characterize the operation of the instrument, evaluate the data quality by intercomparison with other independent measurements, and test its applicability for aerosol source quantification. The results demonstrate significant advantages compared to traditional elemental analysis methods, with some desirable improvements.
An Xact 625 Ambient Metals Monitor was tested during a 3-week summer field campaign at a rural,...
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