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Improved identification of transition metals in airborne aerosols by SEM-EDX combined backscattered and secondary electron microanalysis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  24194417     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
The SEM EDX backscattered electron (BSE) atomic number contrast has been largely used in this work, in combination with conventional secondary electron microanalysis, to investigate the presence of metal particles in airborne particulate collected at three sites (industrial, residential, and rural background) in the Po Valley (Italy). Individual particle x-ray microanalysis was used for this aim. In many cases, the presence of metal particles was not evident by secondary electron imaging and it was instead revealed by BSE detection. Metal particles were observed either as isolated (not clustered to other particles), or gathered together (homogeneous clusters). In addition, the BSE microanalysis put on evidence two main types of association of metals to other particulate components: heterogeneous clusters and metals embedded or enclosed in other materials. In this study, the first association (heterogeneous clusters) was observed mostly between Fe-bearing metallic particles and soot aggregates (or other carbonaceous particles) and it was found in the particulate matter (PM) of all studied sites. The second association, conversely, seems to be characterized by more selective relationships between composition/size of metal particles and type of other particulate components. These associations could be evidenced only when using the BSE Z-contrast and mainly concern three cases: (1) unusual silicate-carbonate mixed aggregates were observed at the industrial site only. In these aggregates, embedded Mn, Cr, Co, Bi, W, and Zr fine particles were selectively observed. (2) Ni and V rich ultrafine particles were only observed as embedded particles in the surface structure of carbon cenospheres. (3) Pb or Pb-Zn bearing fine and ultrafine particles were largely detected only in oxygenated organic aerosols in the ultrafine PM.
A Pietrodangelo; S Pareti; C Perrino
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-11-6
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental science and pollution research international     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1614-7499     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ Sci Pollut Res Int     Publication Date:  2013 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-11-6     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9441769     Medline TA:  Environ Sci Pollut Res Int     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
C.N.R. Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research, Via Salaria, Km 29, 300, Monterotondo, Rome, 00015, Italy,
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