Evaluation of airborne particles at the Alhambra monument in Granada, Spain

Benjamin Horemans, Carolina Cardell, Laszlo Bencs, Velichka Kontozova-Deutsch, Karolien De Wael, Rene Van Grieken

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    As a part of an ongoing investigation regarding the air quality at the Alhambra monument (UNESCO World Cultural Heritage), indoor and outdoor atmospheric aerosols (PM(1) and PM(10-1)) and pollutant gases (O(3), NO(2), SO(2) and NH(3)) were studied during summer and winter. Bulk elements, ionic compounds and black carbon (BC) in aerosols were analyzed with X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, ion chromatography and aethalometry/reflectometry, respectively. Natural PM(10-1) aerosols, such as carbonate-rich soil and sea salts, reacted with a typical urban atmosphere, producing a mixture of particulates with diverse chemical composition. The content/formation of secondary inorganic aerosols depended on the air temperature and absolute humidity. Ratios of typical mineral elements (i.e., Ti/Fe and Si/Fe) showed that Saharan dust events contribute to the composition of the observed mineral aerosol content. BC, V and Ni originated from diesel exhaust, while Cu, Cr, Pb and Zn came mainly from non-exhaust vehicular emissions. Weathering phenomena, such as blackening and pigment discoloration, which could arise from gradual aerosol deposition indoors, are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMicrochemical Journal
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)429-438
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 1-Nov-2011


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