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Origins of PM10 Determined by the Micro-Proton Induced X-ray Emission Spectra of Single Aerosol Particles

Volume 60, Number 6 (June 2006) Page 698-703

Yue, Weisheng; Li, Xiaolin; Wan, Tianmin; Liu, Jiangfeng; Zhang, Guilin; Li, Yan


The micro-proton induced X-ray emission (micro-PIXE) spectrum of a single aerosol particle (SAP) was considered as its fingerprint for tracing its origin. A proton microprobe was used to extract fingerprints of SAPs. Environmental monitoring samples of PM10 were collected from a heavy industrial area of Shanghai and were analyzed by proton microprobe for finding their pollution sources. In order to find the sources of SAPs collected from environmental monitoring sites, a fingerprint database of SAPs collected from various pollution sources was established. The origins of samples collected through environmental monitoring were identified by comparison of the micro-PIXE spectra of SAPs with those of SAPs in the fingerprint database using a pattern recognition technique. The results of this study show that most of the measured PM10 is derived from metallurgic industry, soil dust, coal combustion, automobile exhaust, and motorcycle exhaust. The study also shows that the proton microprobe is an ideal tool for the analysis of SAPs. The unidentified particles of PM10 are classified into seven classes by hierarchical cluster analysis based on the element peak intensity in the spectra.