Characterization of leaf-level particulate matter for an industrial city using electron microscopy and X-ray microanalysis

Sgrigna, G., Baldacchini, C., Esposito, R., Calandrelli, R., Tiwary, Abhishek and Calfapietra, C. (2016) Characterization of leaf-level particulate matter for an industrial city using electron microscopy and X-ray microanalysis. Science of the Total Environment, 548-49. pp. 91-99. ISSN 0048-9697

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This study reports application of monitoring and characterization protocol for particulate matter (PM) deposited on tree leaves, using Quercus ilex as a case study species. The study area is located in the industrial city of Terni in central Italy, with high PM concentrations. Four trees were selected as representative of distinct pollution environments based on their proximity to a steel factory and a street. Wash off from leaves onto cellulose filters were characterized using scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, inferring the associations between particle sizes, chemical composition, and sampling location. Modeling of particle size distributions showed a tri-modal fingerprint, with the three modes centered at 0.6 (factory related), 1.2 (urban background), and 2.6 μm (traffic related). Chemical detection identified 23 elements abundant in the PM samples. Principal component analysis recognized iron and copper as source-specific PM markers, attributed mainly to industrial and heavy traffic pollution respectively. Upscaling these results on leaf area basis provided a useful indicator for strategic evaluation of harmful PM pollutants using tree leaves.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Air pollution; EDX; Human health; Particulate matter; SEM; Urban trees
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2016 16:47
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 08:05

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