Brazilian PGE Research Data Survey on Urban and Roadside Soils

  • Ana Maria G. FigueiredoEmail author
  • Andreza P. Ribeiro
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


Since the 1990s, investigations on the increase of platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd), and rhodium (Rh) levels in urban environments of big cities all over the world due to catalytic converters emissions have increased enormously, mainly in developed countries. Nevertheless, relatively few studies were performed in developing countries, such as Brazil. The state of São Paulo is the most populous and richest Brazilian state, and the city of São Paulo is the largest city in South America, and the 7th largest metropolitan region of the world. In this article, a discussion about the results obtained for the platinum group elements (PGE) Pt, Pd and Rh concentrations in soils adjacent to a major road in São Paulo state and in soils adjacent to seven main high density traffic avenues in the metropolitan region of São Paulo City are presented. Pt, Pd and Rh were found in much higher concentrations than PGE geogenic background, showing a catalytic converter origin. The platinum group elements levels obtained in São Paulo urban soils were much higher than those obtained for the roadside soils. Pd levels about seven times higher than the results obtained for the roadside soils were observed. The highest concentrations obtained for Pt (208 ng g−1) and Rh (45 ng g−1) were of about 12 and 5 times higher than the results obtained for the roadside soils. The results indicate that the PGE concentrations in São Paulo soils are directly influenced by traffic conditions. The concentrations of traffic-related elements such as Pb, Zn and Cu were also determined in the studied soils. Factorial analysis and cluster analysis discriminated the traffic related metals from PGE in the urban soils. However, in the roadside soils PGE were well correlated with Pb, Cu and Zn. The results obtained at present for PGE levels in São Paulo soils demonstrate the importance of continuous monitoring, since the rapid increase of the vehicular fleet in Brazil should also increase PGE emissions.


Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis Urban Soil Platinum Group Element Catalytic Converter Roadside Soil 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bocca B, Caimi S, Smichowski P, Gómez D, Caroli S (2006) Monitoring Pt and Rh in urban aerosols from Buenos Aires. Argentina Sci Total Environ 358:255–264Google Scholar
  2. Brown RA (2002) Environmental impact of platinum, palladium and rhodium in the roadside environment. PhD [Thesis]. Imperial College, Londres, UKGoogle Scholar
  3. CETESB (São Paulo) Qualidade do ar no estado de São Paulo 2012 / CETESB. São Paulo: CETESB, 2013. (Série Relatórios/Secretaria de Estado do Meio Ambiente, ISSN 0103–4103), 123 Available from. Accessed 28th February 2014
  4. Cicchella D, DeVivo B, Lima A (2003) Palladium and platinum concentration in soils from the Napoli metropolitan area, Italy: possible effects of catalytic exhausts. Sci Total Environ 308:121–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cinti D, Angelone M, Masi U, Cremisini C (2002) Platinum levels in natural and urban soils from Rome and Latium (Italy): significance for pollution by automobile catalytic converter. Sci Total Environ 293:47–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Colombo C, Monhemius AJ, Plant JA (2008) The estimation of the bioavailabilities of platinum, palladium and rhodium in vehicle exhaust catalysts and road dusts using a physiologically based extraction test. Sci Total Environ 389:46–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Da Silva MF, Assunção JV, Andrade MF, Pesquero CR (2010) Characterization of metal and trace element contents of particulate matter (PM10) emitted by vehicles running on Brazilian fuels—hydrated ethanol and gasoline with 22 % of anhydrous ethanol. J Toxicol Env Health 73:901–909CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. da Silva LID, Sarkis JES, Zotin FMZ, Carneiro MC, Alcover-Neto A, Da Silva ASAG, Cardoso MJB, Monteiro MIC (2008) Traffic and catalytic converter—related atmospheric contamination in the metropolitan region of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Chemosphere 71:677–684Google Scholar
  9. Ek KH, Morrison GM, Rauch S (2004) Environmental routes for platinum group elements to biological materials—a review. Sci Total Environ 334–335:21–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ely JC, Neal CR, Kulpa CF, Schneegurt MA, Seidler JA, Jain JC (2001) Implications of platinum-group element acumulation along U.S. roads from catalytic-converter attrition. Environ. Sci. Techno. 35:3816–3822CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fritsche J, Meisel T (2004) Determination of anthropogenic input of Ru, Rh, Pd, Re, Os, Ir and Pt in soils along Austrian motorways by isotope dilution ICP-MS. Sci Total Environ 325:145–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gómez B, Gómez M, Sanchez JL, Fernández R, Palacios MA (2001) Platinum and rhodium distribution in airbone particulate matter and road dust. Sci Total Environ 269:131–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hooda PS, Miller A, Edwards AC (2007) The distribution of automobile catalyst-cast platinum, palladium and rhodium in soils adjacent to roads and their uptake by grass. Sci Total Environ 384:384–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. IBGE—Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Censo 2010. Available from|sao-paulo&lang. Accessed form 20th February 2014
  15. Jackson MT, Sampson J, Prichard HM (2007) Platinum and palladium variations through the urban environment: Evidence from 11 sample types from Sheffield. UK. Sci. Total Environ 385:117–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jarvis KE, Parry SJ, Piper JM (2001) Temporal and spatial studies of autocatalyst-derived platinum, rhodium and palladium and selected vehicle-derived trace elements in the environment. Environ Sci Technol 35:1031–1036CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lee HY, Chon HT, Sager M, Marton L (2012) Platinum pollution in road dusts, roadside soils, and tree barks in Seoul, Korea. Environ Geochem Health 34:5–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mathur R, Balaram V, Satyanarayanan M, Sawant SS, Ramesh SL (2011) Anthropogenic platinum, palladium and rhodium concentrations in road dusts from Hyderabad city, India. Environ Earth Sci 62:1085–1098CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Morcelli CPR, Figueiredo AMG, Sarkis JES, Kakazu M, Enzweiler J, Sigolo JB (2005) PGEs and other traffic related elements in roadside soils from São Paulo. Brazil. Sci. Total Environ. 345:81–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Morton O, Puchelt H, Hernandez E, Lounejeva E (2001) Traffic-related platinum group elements (PGE) in soils from Mexico City. J Geochem Explor 72:223–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Orecchio S, Amorello D (2011) Platinum levels in urban soils from Palermo (Italy); Analytical method using voltammetry. Microchem J 99:283–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pan S, Zhang G, Sun Y, Chakraborty P (2009) Accumulating characteristics of platinum group elements (PGE) in urban environments, China. Sci Total Environ 407:4248–4252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Parry SJ, Jarvis KE (2006). Temporal and spatial variation of palladium in the roadside environment. In: Zereini F, Alt F (eds) Palladium emissions in the environment: analytical methods, environmental assessment and health effects. Springer, New York, pp 419–432Google Scholar
  24. Peachey CJ, Sinnett D, Wilkinson M, Morgan MGW, Freer-Smith PH, Hutchings TR (2009) Deposition and solubility of airborne metals to four plant species grown at varying distances from two heavily trafficked roads in London. Environ Pollut 157:2291–2299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Prichard HM, Fischer PC (2012) Identification of platinum and palladium particles emitted from vehicles and dispersed into the surface environment. Environ Sci Technol 46:3149–3154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rauch S, Morrison GM, Motelica-Heino M, Donard OFX, Muris M (2000) Elemental association and fingerprint of traffic-related metals in road sediments. Environ Sci Technol 33:3119–3323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ribeiro AP, Figueiredo AMG, Sarkis JES, Hortellani MA, Markert B (2012a) First study on anthropogenic Pt, Pd, and Rh levels in soils from major avenues of São Paulo City, Brazil. Environ Monit Assess 184:7373–7382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ribeiro AP, Figueiredo AMG, Ticianelli RB, Nammoura-Neto GM, Silva NC, Kakazu MH, Zahn G (2012b) Metals and semi-metals in street soils of São Paulo city, Brazil. J Radioanal Nucl Ch 291:137–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Riga-Karandinos AN, Saitanis CJ, Arapis G (2006) First study of anthropogenic platinum group elements in roadside top-soils in Athens, Greece. Water, Air and Soil Pollut 172:3–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rodrigues JM (2013) Evolução da frota de automóveis no Brasil, 2001-2012 (Relatório 2013), Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia. Observatório das Metrópoles 2013:40pGoogle Scholar
  31. Sen IS (2013) Platinum group element pollution is a growing concern in countries with developing economy. Environ Sci Technol 47(24):13903–13904CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schafer J, Puchelt H (1998) Platinum group metals (PGM) emitted from automobile catalytic converters and their distribution in roadside soils. J Geochem Explor 64:301–314Google Scholar
  33. Sutherland RA, Pearson DG, Ottley CJ (2007) Platinum-group elements (Ir, Pd, Pt and Rh) in road-deposited sediments in two urban watersheds. Hawaii. Appl. Geochem. 22:1485–1501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tomanik E (2000). Modelamento do desgaste por deslizamento em anéis de pistão em motores de combustão interna. PhD [Thesis]. Universidade de São Paulo, BrasilGoogle Scholar
  35. Tsogas GZ, Giokas DL, Vlessidis AG, Aloupi M, Angelidis MO (2009) Survey of the distribution and time-dependent increase of platinum-group element accumulation along urban roads in Ioannina (NW Greece). Water Air Soil Pollut 201:265–281Google Scholar
  36. Ward NI, Dudding LM (2004) Platinum emissions and levels in motorway dust samples: influence of traffic characteristics. Sci Total Environ 334–335:457–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wedepohl KH (1995) The composition of the continental crust. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 59:1217–1232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wichmann H, Anquandah GAK, Schmidt C, Zachmann D, Bahadir MA (2007) Increase of platinum group element concentrations in soils and airborne dust in an urban area in Germany. Sci Total Environ 388:121–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Whiteley JD, Murray F (2003) Anthropogenic platinum group element (Pt, Pd and Rh) concentrations in road dust and roadside soils from Perth, Western Australia. Sci Total Environ 317:121–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Whiteley JD (2004) Autocatalyst derived platinum group elements in the roadside environment occurrence mobility and Fate PhD [Thesis]. Murdoch University, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  41. Whiteley JD (2005) Seasonal variability of platinum, palladium and rhodium (PGE) levels in road dusts and roadside soils, Perth, Western Australia. Water Air Soil Poll 160:77–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Yajun W, Xiaozheng L (2012) Health risk of platinum group elements from automobile catalysts. Pro Eng 24:1004–1009Google Scholar
  43. Yeomans AK, Golder AP (1982) The Guttman-Kaiser criterion as a predictor of the number of common factors. The Statistician 31:221–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Zereini F, Wiseman C, Beyer JM, Artelt S, Urban H (2001) Platinum, lead and cerium concentrations of street particulate matter. J Soils Sediments 2(2):1–8Google Scholar
  45. Zereini F, Alt F, Messerschmid TJ, Wiseman C, Feldmann I, Von Bohlen A, Muller J, Liebl K, Puttmann W (2005) Concentration and distribution of heavy metals in urban airborne particulate mater in Frankfurt am Main. Germany. Environ. Sci. Technol 39:2983–2989CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zereini F, Wiseman C, Putmann W (2007) Changes in palladium, platinum, and rhodium concentrations, and their spatial distribution in soils along a major highway in Germany from1994 to 2004. Environ Sci Technol 41:451–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Zereini F, Wiseman CLS, Püttmann W (2012) In Vitro Investigations of Platinum, Palladium, and Rhodium Mobility in Urban Airborne Particulate Matter (PM10, PM2.5, and PM1) Using Simulated Lung Fluids. Environ Sci Technol 46:10326–10333Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Maria G. Figueiredo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andreza P. Ribeiro
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas E Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN - SP)São PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Nove de Julho (UNINOVE)São PauloBrazil

Personalised recommendations