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Source identification of individual soot agglomerates in Arctic air by transmission electron microscopy

Individual soot agglomerates collected at four different locations on the Arctic archipelago Svalbard (Norway) were characterised by transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis. For source identification of the ambient soot agglomerates, samples from different local sources (coal burning power plants in Longyearbyen and Barentsburg, diesel and oil burning for power generation in Sveagruva and Ny Ålesund, cruise ship) as well as from other sources which may contribute to Arctic soot concentrations (biomass burning, aircraft emissions, diesel engines) were investigated. Diameter and graphene sheet separation distance of soot primary particles were found to be highly variable within each source and are not suited for source identification. In contrast, concentrations of the minor elements Si, P, K, Ca and Fe showed significant differences which can be used for source attribution. The presence/absence of externally mixed particle groups (fly ashes, tar balls, mercury particles) gives additional hints about the soot sources. Biomass/wood burning, ship emissions and coal burning in Barentsburg can be excluded as major source for ambient soot at Svalbard. The coal power plant in Longyearbyen is most likely a major source of soot in the settlement of Longyearbyen but does not contribute significantly to soot collected at the Global Atmosphere...

Weinbruch, Stephan; Benker, Natalie; Kandler, Konrad; Schütze, Katharina; Kling, Katharina; Berlinger, Balazs; Thomassen, Yngvar; Drotikova, Tatiana Mikhailovna; Kallenborn, Roland
Atmospheric Environment 172: 47–54
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