Apportionment of ambient primary and secondary fine particulate matter during a 2001 Summer Intensive Study at the CMU Supersite and NETL Pittsburgh Site

Delbert J. Eatough, Nolan F. Mangelson, Richard R. Anderson, Donald V. Martello, Natalie J. Pekney, Cliff I. Davidson, William K. Modey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Gaseous and particulate pollutant concentrations associated with five samples per day collected during a July 2001 summer intensive study at the Pittsburgh Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Supersite were used to apportion fine particulate matter (PM2.5) into primary and secondary contributions using PMF2. Input to the PMF2 analysis included the concentrations of PM2.5 nonvolatile and semivolatile organic material, elemental carbon (EC), ammonium sulfate, trace element components, gas-phase organic material, and NOx, NO2, and O3 concentrations. A total of 10 factors were identified. These factors are associated with emissions from various sources and facilities including crustal material, gasoline combustion, diesel combustion, and three nearby sources high in trace metals. In addition, four secondary sources were identified, three of which were associated with secondary products of local emissions and were dominated by organic material and one of which was dominated by secondary ammonium sulfate transported to the CMU site from the west and southwest. The three largest contributors to PM2.5 were secondary transported material (dominated by ammonium sulfate) from the west and southwest (49%), secondary material formed during midday photochemical processes (24%), and gasoline combustion emissions (11%). The other seven sources accounted for the remaining 16% of the PM2.5. Results obtained at the CMU site were comparable to results previously reported at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), located approximately 18 km south of downtown Pittsburgh. The major contributor at both sites was material transported from the west and southwest. Some difference in nearby sources could be attributed to meteorology as evaluated by HYSPLIT model back-trajectory calculations. These findings are consistent with the majority of the secondary ammonium sulfate in the Pittsburgh area being the result of contributions from distant transport, and thus decoupled from local activity involving organic pollutants in the metropolitan area. In contrast, the major local secondary sources were dominated by organic material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1251-1267
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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