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Title: Characterisation of particulate matter in the urban environment
Author: Chung, Winson
ISNI:       0000 0004 2677 3028
Awarding Body: The University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2009
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At present, airborne particulate matter (PM) is considered to be one of the most important environmental pollutants. Conventional epidemiological studies and PM monitoring methods are dated and are not a proper representation of the actual effects of airborne PM on the environment and human health. There are numerous studies over the years identifying particles emitted from their source, however, less is known about particles which exists in the urban environment other than size distribution data and bulk chemical analysis. Thus the main objective of this research project was to develop a comprehensive receptor level characterisation of particulate matter in the urban environment. The overall objective was achieved by using a three-stage approach. In the first stage, tapered element oscillating microbalance (TEOM) samples were collected from sites around the city of Sheffield over a period of one year. The Andersen instrument was then used to collect samples from kerb-side and elevated locations, Ladybower (a forest environment) and from a UK energy-from-waste plant. Then in the second stage, samples were subjected to individual particle morphology andú chemical composition analysis. Finally, the samples were analysed for bulk chemical composition for the purpose of source apportionment and identification of emission trends over the one-year period. Tests showed that the monitoring stations in residential environments were dominated by transportation derived particles and other migratory particulates such as sea salt, cenospheres, dust, etc. The results from the city centre monitoring stations showed that transportation and biological particles were dominant, with biological particles abundant for the site closest to the River Don. The monitoring station located close to the Tinsley industrial area, despite only 200 meters away from the Ml motorway, has low contribution of nonexhaust particulates from vehicles. Instead, the particulates collected from this site were dominated by industrial sources. Additionally, an air dispersion model was carried out using the Airviro program. The model was set-up to simulate the dispersion of particulate matter from all points and road sources in the city over the one-year sampling period. Results from the modelling corresponded with the results obtained in the experimental program. It further suggests that the high background PMlO levels could be attributed to the construction and demolition work around the city. This PhD has yielded valuable information that can be used for future health and environmental studies in order to improve the way in which PM exposure is assessed. Furthermore, the methodology of this study can be used to identify and characterise even finer particles such as nano-particulates. The information on the morphology and chemical characteristics of individual particulates can also be used to design or improve the current abatement systems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available