Analysis of the Organic Fine fraction of Particulate Matter (PM2.5) in Cork City

Analysis of the Organic Fine fraction of Particulate Matter (PM2.5)

Researcher: Mary Mahoney
Telephone number: 353 (0)21 490 1960/1963/3526

Funding Body: IRCSET
Programme: Postgraduate Research
Project type: PhD
Period: 2005-2008

This project involves conducting field measurements of particulate matter in and around Cork City; developing methods for the extraction and speciation of the organic fraction; performing chemical analysis on the organic fraction; developing toxicological tests that relate to the organic fraction of PM2.5 and identifying suitable organic markers for source apportionment modelling.

A high volume cascade impactor was deployed during 2005/2006 to collect PM at several sampling locations, including a road-side urban location at Old Station Road in Cork city centre, background urban site at Heatherton Park and a background rural site in Innishcarra (County Cork).

The first two years of research has been mainly focused on the identification of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) which are toxic pollutants (including a probable human carcinogen Benzo(A)Pyrene); alkanes which are commonly deployed as markers in the source apportionment of PM and quinones which have been identified as reactive species that trigger toxicological events.

Environmental Research Institute

University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork