Composition and Sources of Particulate Air Pollution in a Port Environment, Cork, Ireland

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Resource or Project Abstract

Five inter-linked topics were studied within the ELIPSE programme, which provide the first 'snapshot' picture of airborne pollution associated with a busy Irish Harbour location: 1. An aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer and a particle-number counter were co-located with a suite of real-time monitoring instrumentation at the Tivoli Docks in the Port of Cork, Ireland. The data provided novel evidence for a unique ship exhaust class containing internally mixed elemental carbon/organic carbon, sodium, calcium, iron, vanadium, nickel and sulfate. The measurements indicated that the vast majority of freshly emitted ship exhaust particles lie in the ultrafine mode (<100 nm diameter). Subsequent source apportionment analysis showed that the measured shipping traffic contributes only 1.5% to the ambient PM2.5 mass collected but 18% to the total number of particles detected. This value is second only to road traffic (with a contribution of 42%). Thus, it appears that local shipping traffic can contribute significantly to local ambient particle number in the inhalable, deeppenetrating, 20- to 600-nm size range. 2. Domestic solid-fuel burning was found to comprise an important contribution to Harbour airborne pollution even in the summer period. The data showed that the organic composition of the collected aerosols was mainly associated with anthropogenic and biogenic emissions from local sources. 1. PM2.5, PM with diameter less than 2.5 µm. 2. ELIPSE, Environmental Linkages of In-Port Ship Emissions of Particulate Matter, their Chemical Analysis and Effects on Health. viii 3. On average, approximately 50% by mass of the chemical content of PM2.5 was unambiguously identified in this study. The major inorganic constituents identified in the PM were sulfate, ammonium, nitrate, chloride and sodium ions, which were mainly attributable to sea salt and secondary inorganic aerosols from regional sources. 4. By scrutinising the data sets gathered at Tivoli Docks and Haulbowline Naval Base using various independent source apportionment techniques, the existence and location of a specific sulfate source was established, which appears to be located east south-east and south-east of the receptor site. In this general direction lies the industrialised Little Island, the ESB power plant located at Aghada, and the Whitegate oil refinery. 5. Mostly all elements detected exhibit higher ambient concentration levels at Tivoli Docks than at Haulbowline Naval Base in line with a general dilution pattern of pollution sources generally observed across the Harbour. However, the average ambient concentrations for chromium and cadmium were higher at Haulbowline Naval Base than at Tivoli Docks. Chromium and cadmium were also found to be strongly correlated, which would indicate a common source. The findings indicate a possible contribution from re-suspended waste material associated with a disused steel manufacturing facility located on the island.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Professor John Sodeau
University College Cork

Dr. Ian O'Connor
University College Cork

Dr. Stig Hellebust
University College Cork

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Offline Print Quality Version    STRIVE_71_OConnor_PM10_prn.pdf  (2.91 Mb)
Project Report Optimised For Online Viewing    STRIVE_71_OConnor_PM10_web.pdf  (1.93 Mb)
Att 3    ELIPSE_ChemicalComposition_PM2.5.xlsx   (0.3 Mb)

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Author(s)Sodeau, J. O'Connor, I. Hellebust, S.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationComposition and Sources of Particulate Air Pollution in a Port Environment, Cork, Ireland
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL
Unique Identifier253493b7-dbf3-102e-a0a4-f81fb11d7d1c
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2024-06-21

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Sodeau, J. O'Connor, I. Hellebust, S.   "Composition and Sources of Particulate Air Pollution in a Port Environment, Cork, Ireland". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (Last Accessed: 2024-06-21)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource KeywordsAir quality monitoring, PM2.5, source apportionment, single particle mass spectrometry
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2006-EH-MS-49
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeAir Quality
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceAny attached datasets, data files, or information objects can be downloaded for further use in scientific applications under the condition that the source is properly quoted and cited in published papers, journals, websites, presentations, books, etc. Before downloading, users must agree to the "Conditions of Download and Access" from SAFER-Data. These appear before download. Users of the data should also communicate with the original authors/owners of this resource if they are uncertain about any aspect of the data or information provided before further usage.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 3
Project Start Date Thursday 1st February 2007 (01-02-2007)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Sunday 1st April 2007 (01-04-2007)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Friday 1st May 2009 (01-05-2009)
Published on SAFERMonday 30th May 2011 (30-05-2011)
Date of Last EditMonday 27th June 2011 at 17:09:29 (27-06-2011)
Datasets or Files Updated On Monday 27th June 2011 at 17:09:29 (27-06-2011)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
A 28-month PM, aerosol and trace gas monitoring programme was performed at two selected sites, one in the Upper Harbour (Tivoli Docks and Estates) and the other Mid-Harbour (located at the Naval Base on Haulbowline Island). Two sampling sites were selected to represent environments with local pollutant sources that included shipping contributions. The City of Cork houses the second biggest port in Ireland, being located in one of the largest natural harbours in the world. The Port of Cork controls a number of facilities situated in the Harbour. Of these, Tivoli Docks and Estates located in the Upper Harbour and Ringaskiddy Deep Water Port located in the Mid-Harbour are the most commercially important. Haulbowline Naval Base (51º 50' 30" N, 8° 18' 25" W) Tivoli Docks and Estates (51° 54' 05" N, 8° 24' 38" W)

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
The main aims of the ELIPSE programme were to characterise the size and chemical composition of freshly emitted individual ship exhausts monitored in the Port of Cork and to estimate the contribution of individual sources, including transport and domestic solid-fuel (DSF) burning to air quality in Cork Harbour.
Supplementary Information
A High-Volume Cascade Impactor (ChemVol 2400) operating at a flow rate of 900 L/min. Particulate samples were collected on Polyurethane foam (PUF) substrates on a bi-weekly basis. The resulting Weekdays (Monday-Friday) and Weekend (Friday-Monday) collections were resolved into two size fractions: PM10-2.5 (coarse) and PM2.5-0.1 (fine).
Trace gas analysers (Thermo Electron) for monitoring O3 (49i), NOx (42i TL) and SO2 (5020) in real-time (1 min time resolution) were used along with a Thermo Electron Sulfate Particulate Analyser (5020) instrument for continuous, real-time monitoring of ambient particulate sulfate (10 min time-resolution).
A semi-continuous EC/OC analyser (Sunset Laboratory Inc.) operating at a 2 hour time-resolution was used for the measurement of elemental and organic carbon for the PM2.5 size fraction.
An ATOFMS (TSI model 3800), fitted with an aerodynamic lens (TSI model AFL100) for the measurement of particles in the size range 100-3000 nm in real time, was also used in order to characterise the chemical composition and internal mixing state of single airborne particles and was used in conjunction with a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS, TSI model 3081) which measured particle number concentrations in the size range 20-600 nm (mobility diameter) every 3 min.
Also, PM2.5 aerosol samples were collected on quartz fibre filters (Pallflex 150 mm diameter) using a High Volume (Digitel) sampler with a flow rate of 500 L min-1 in order to determine the specific organic components.
An automated weather station (Casella Nomad) recording all essential meteorological parameters such as temperature, wind direction/speed, relative humidity, etc. at 5 min intervals.

Positive Matrix Factorization and Priniciple Component Analysis were used as source apportionment techniques in order to provide source contribution to PM2.5 mass.
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