Proceedings in Radiochemistry
A Supplement to Radiochimica Acta
Analysis of air particulate matter in Teflon™ and quartz filters by short-irradiation, epithermal-neutron activation with Compton suppression
This work aimed at developing methodologies to characterize the elemental composition of air particulate matter (APM) collected in Portugal, at an urban area (Lisboa, mainland Portugal) and at a remote location (Terceira island, Azores, Portugal). The Azores' collections were based on quartz filters; Teflon™ filters were used at the urban area. The main components of Teflon™ and quartz filters are fluorine and silica, respectively, the latter featuring higher levels of elements in the blanks. Al and Ti are reduced to null values when the blanks are subtracted. Epithermal short irradiation associated to Compton suppression in the measurement allowed the determination of a set of elements potentially representative of important emission sources: sea-spray (Cl, Br, Na, Mg), fuel burning (V), incineration (Cl), soil resuspension (Mg, Mn, Na, U, V), and traffic (Br, Mn). The analysis was fast due to the use of an automatic system. In some cases, the same element had different origins in the urban and remote oceanic areas.