Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 21(7), 763 (2005).

Elucidating a Particulate Matter Deposition Episode by Combining Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry
Cristina VAZQUEZ, Graciela CUSTO, Laura DAWIDOWSKI, Darío GÓMEZ, Marina VILLEGAS, Martha ORTIZ, and Mayumi MIYAGUSUKU
Unidad de Actividad Química, Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica, Av. Gral Paz 1499 (B1650KNA), San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Multielemental composition and morphology of particulate matter samples were examined to detect the presence of two potential responsible pollutant emitters at four sites impacted during a pollution episode in the City of Campana, Argentina. Coke and smoke black are the main constituents associated to the industrial plants that were considered, a priori, as responsible pollutant emitters. Wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WDXRF) was employed for the analysis of metals in samples coming from both, suspected sources and four sites. On the basis of multielemental composition profiles, a screening analysis was undertaken for exploring similarities among sources and sample sites adopting the average concentration profile of the crustal rock as soil surrogate. Particle morphology was studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in source samples and in those environmental samples selected through the screening analysis. Two types of collected samples were analyzed: 1) those with composition profiles closer to the potential sources and 2) those closer to the cluster rock. This strategy was adequate to identify the responsible source of the contamination episode.