Source apportionment of urban PM1 in Barcelona during SAPUSS using organic and inorganic components

  • Mariola Brines
  • Manuel Dall’Osto
  • Fulvio Amato
  • María Cruz Minguillón
  • Angeliki Karanasiou
  • Joan O. Grimalt
  • Andrés Alastuey
  • Xavier Querol
  • Barend L. van DroogeEmail author
Research Article


Source apportionment of atmospheric PM1 is important for air quality control, especially in urban areas where high mass concentrations are often observed. Chemical analysis of molecular inorganic and organic tracer compounds and subsequently data analysis with receptor models give insight on the origin of the PM1 sources. In the present study, four source apportionment approaches were compared with an extended database containing inorganic and organic compounds that were measured during an intensive sampling campaign at urban traffic and urban background sites in Barcelona. Source apportionment of the combined database, containing both inorganic and organic compounds, was compared with more conventional approaches using inorganic and organic databases separately. Traffic emission sources were identified in all models for the two sites. The combined inorganic and organic databases provided higher discrimination capacity of emission sources. It identified aerosols generated by regional recirculation of biomass burning, secondary biogenic organic aerosols, harbor emissions, and specific industrial emissions. In this respect, this approach identified a relevant industrial source situated at NE Barcelona in which a waste incinerator plant, a combined-cycle power plant, and an industrial glass complex are located. Models using both inorganic and organic molecular tracer compounds improve the source apportionment of urban PM.


Urban PM1 Inorganics Organics Source apportionment Receptor models 



M.C. Minguillón acknowledges the Ramón y Cajal Fellowship awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness). The SAPUSS team is acknowledged.

Funding information

Financial support for this study was provided by the Marie Curie FP7 SAPUSS (FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IEF, project number 254773), research projects from the D.G. de Calidad y Evaluacion Ambiental (Spanish Ministry of the Environment), and the Plan Nacional de IyD (Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation) CGL2010-19464-VAMOS and CGL2011-29621, and the Generalitat de Catalunya (AGAUR 2017 SGR41).

Supplementary material

11356_2019_6199_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.6 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 2690 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariola Brines
    • 1
    • 2
  • Manuel Dall’Osto
    • 3
  • Fulvio Amato
    • 1
  • María Cruz Minguillón
    • 1
  • Angeliki Karanasiou
    • 1
  • Joan O. Grimalt
    • 1
  • Andrés Alastuey
    • 1
  • Xavier Querol
    • 1
  • Barend L. van Drooge
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDÆA) Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Astronomy and Meteorology, Faculty of PhysicsUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM) Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)BarcelonaSpain

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