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Scientific journal publication

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), oxy- and nitro-PAHs in ambient air of the Arctic town Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Drotikova, Titiana; Ali, Aasim Musa Mohamed; Halse, Anne Karine; Reinardy, Helena; Kallenborn, Roland

Publication details

Journal: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP), vol. 20, 9997–10014, 2020

Arkiv: hdl.handle.net/11250/2676911
Doi: doi.org/10.5194/acp-20-9997-2020

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are not
declining in Arctic air despite reductions in their global emissions.
In Svalbard, the Longyearbyen coal-fired power plant
is considered to be one of the major local sources of PAHs.
Power plant stack emissions and ambient air samples, collected
simultaneously at 1 km (UNIS) and 6 km (Adventdalen)
transect distance, were analysed (gaseous and particulate
phases separately) for 22 nitro-PAHs, 8 oxy-PAHs,
and 16 parent PAHs by gas chromatography in combination
with single quadrupole electron capture negative ionization
mass spectrometry (GC-ECNI-MS) and gas chromatography
in combination with triple quadrupole electron ionization
mass spectrometry (GC-EI-MS/MS). Results confirm low
levels of PAH emissions (Sum 16 PAHs D 1:5 μg/kg coal)
from the power plant. Phenanthrene, 9,10-anthraquinone, 9-
fluorenone, fluorene, fluoranthene, and pyrene accounted for
85% of the plant emission (not including naphthalene). A dilution
effect was observed for the transect ambient air samples:
1.26+/- 0.16 and 0.63+/- 0.14 ng/m3 were the sum of all
47 PAH derivatives for UNIS and Adventdalen, respectively.
The PAH profile was homogeneous for these recipient stations
with phenanthrene and 9-fluorenone being most abundant.
Multivariate statistical analysis confirmed coal combustion
and vehicle and marine traffic as the predominant
sources of PAHs. Secondary atmospheric formation of 9-
nitroanthracene and 2C3-nitrofluoranthene was evaluated
and concluded. PAHs partitioning between gaseous and particulate
phases showed a strong dependence on ambient temperatures
and humidity. The present study contributes important
data which can be utilized to eliminate uncertainties in
model predictions that aim to assess the extent and impacts
of Arctic atmospheric contaminants.