Aerosol chemistry

Starting date:


Instrumentation and calibration:
Fine (PM1), coarse (PM1-PM10) aerosol samples are collected by means of a virtual impactor - Model 310 Universal Air Sampler TM - on quartz-fiber filters. Samples are analyzed off-line for their carbonaceous (total carbon, TC, and water-soluble organic carbon, WSOC) and water-soluble inorganic components (Cl-; NO3-; SO42-; Na+; NH4+; K+; Mg2+; Ca2+ by ion chromatography).
Collection of one nocturnal sample per week, every Tuesday night, 10:00pm to 6:00am hrs (local time).

Project affiliation (s)

Related research programmes

  • Tropospheric background condition
  • Long-range transport
  • Polluted air-mass transport
  • Aerosol properties
  • Why is this research important?
    Due to their short lifetime and complex emission patterns, atmospheric aerosols exhibit a large variability in terms of physical and chemical properties and spatial distributions. Hence, monitoring the organic and inorganic aerosol chemical components as a function of particle size, particularly at remote high mountain sites, is strategic for several reasons:
    - Identifying the natural and anthropogenic sources of aerosols transported over long distances (i.e. desert dust, biomass burning smoke from large fires, regional-scale hazes of combustion aerosols);
    - Studying the chemical composition of pollution aerosol lifted by orographic winds into free troposphere;
    - Obtaining a climatology for the aerosol composition in the lower free troposphere over the north Mediterranean basin, to be compared with the aerosol chemical records from high mountain stations in other geographical regions in Europe;
    - Improving spatial coverage of aerosol chemical data at high-altitude background stations, including carbonaceous species, to serve as inputs or constraints to global climate model simulations.

    Quick look
    As an example, the figure reports nocturnal (tropospheric background), nitrate (NO3-), sulphate (SO42-), ammonium (NH4+), water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) and total carbon (TC) concentrations of PM1 samples collected in 2010 in the frame of the EUSAAR joint programme.
    Click here!

    Organization (s):
    Via Gobetti 101, I-40129, Bologna

    Contact persons:
    Dr. Maria Cristina Facchini
    e-mail: mc [dot] facchiniatisac [dot] cnr [dot] it
    phone: +39 051 6399563

    Dr. Stefano Decesari
    e-mail: s [dot] decesariatisac [dot] cnr [dot] it
    phone: +39 051 6399560

    Where can I find the data?
    by direct request to: s [dot] decesariatisac [dot] cnr [dot] it