Water solubility of metals in coarse PM and PM2.5 in typical urban environment in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-244
Journal / PublicationAtmospheric Pollution Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014



An investigation of abundance and solubility of metals in size-segregated particulate matter (PM) was conducted at a typical urban site during the winter between late 2011 and early 2012 in Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong. The samples were extracted by both strong acid and water, and fourteen elements including Al, Ca, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Fe, Pb, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, V, and Zn were analyzed using Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). The metals in PM showed distinctly different profiles of their distribution between coarse particles (2.5 μm2.5 (dp2.5 were analyzed and compared to investigate the transition metals solubility. The water extractable fraction was found to be present mainly in the fine particles, whereas more of the coarse fraction mass remained as insoluble fraction. The results from this study demonstrated large variation of water solubility of metals in urban aerosols in different size fractions and highlighted solubility as an important metric for considering the relation between metals and adverse health effects in epidemiological and toxicological studies. © Author(s) 2014.

Research Area(s)

  • Acid digestion, Crustal enrichment factor, Metals, Size fractionated PM, Water solubility

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