Atmospheric Aerosols, Analysis of
Published Online: 17 DEC 2012
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Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry
How to Cite
Smichowski, P. and Gómez, D. R. 2012. Atmospheric Aerosols, Analysis of. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry.
- Published Online: 17 DEC 2012
The increasing concern about air pollution and climate change has attracted the interest of researchers for assessing the presence, as well as the health and environmental impacts, of a diversity of atmospheric pollutants including airborne particles. Primary particles are introduced into the atmosphere through a variety of processes including natural and anthropogenic sources, while secondary particles are formed in the atmosphere by physical and chemical transformations. Airborne particles consist of a mixture of materials generally complex, which can contain organic and inorganic compounds and biological material. The determination of the chemical composition of aerosols is a challenging task for analytical chemists. Their contribution for understanding the role that different chemical components play in the source identification, transport, health impacts, and radiative properties of airborne particulate matter (APM) has been, and still is, crucial for the advance of atmospheric chemistry. For obtaining reliable results, the expertise for selecting adequate, sensitive, and selective analytical techniques for the determination of ions, metals, metalloids, carbonaceous, and organic compounds is of prime importance. This article focuses on the main analytical techniques employed for the determination of inorganic components of atmospheric aerosols.