Building the future by doing more together

Chemical characterisation of PM2.5 and PM10 urban aerosol
Coordinator - Teresa Nunes
Programme - POCTI/AMB/60267/2004
Execution dates - 2005-10-01 - 2008-09-30 (36 Months)
Funding Entity - FCT
Funding for CESAM - 51660 €
Total Funding - 70965 €
Proponent Institution - Universidade de Aveiro

In the past 10 years concern on particulate matter (PM) concentration values in urban areas led to a number of European studies on PM10 that is currently the European Standard (EU Directive 99/62) for air quality assessment. With the Clean Air for Europe (CAFE) process is currently recommending a change to a PM2.5 standard like it was recently promulgated by USEPA. Today, the interest in aerosol is high mainly because of their effect on human health and their role in climate change. Epidemiological studies and research on the mutagenic effects of airborne particulate matter point at the adverse health effects of fine particles as they are able to reach deep lung regions and are vehicles of the toxic substances. However, the toxicological mechanisms of the relation between ambient aerosols and health have not been established. It is currently unclear, which characteristics of the fine particles are responsible for the health damage. The air quality limit and target values for PM10 that are to be met by 2005-2010 are currently exceeded extensively in Portuguese cities and sometimes in rural areas. Recently Portuguese Authorities were advertised by EU, to urgent implement measures and strategies in order to reduce ozone and PM10 level air concentrations. In the context of these strict air quality standards and limit values, attention is focusing on cost-effective abatement measures, which require fundamental knowledge of particle source contributions to both PM2.5 and PM10 mass in the atmosphere. Because airborne particulate matter has many sources, one means of source apportionment is through receptor modelling of atmospheric concentrations of specific chemical components which are linked to particular primary emission source or secondary formation. In Portugal detailed and mass closure studies that address to these issues are scarce. With this project we expect to contribute for documenting temporal and spatial variation in aerosol characteristics in two of the most important Portuguese cities. Air sampling will be conducted in parallel during two separate month-long intensive campaigns, one in winter, the other in summer to evaluate seasonal variations in chemical composition. The sampling system to be used allows collecting both PM2.5 and PM2.5-10 fractions. Data aerosol results, together with meteorological and air pollutants concentrations data measured in the urban air quality monitoring station will be used to estimate the main sources responsible for the mass particle observed.

Members on this project
Casimiro Pio
Célia A. Alves

Teresa Nunes

CESAM Funding: