The Platinum group elements in road dust

Zengqiang Yu

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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The automobile catalytic converters have been in use in Austria since 1987, and therefore the emission of the pollutant such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitric oxides has been significantly reduced. However, the emission of platinum group elements (PGE) from automobile catalytic converters has led to a rapid increase in Pt, Pd and Rh concentrations in roadside media, which include soils, water, plants and sludge. Through the investigation of PGE concentration in such media and the comparison of the PGE-concentrations and PGE-ratios in the different media at the same site, one can study not only the distribution of PGE, but also the transformation and transport of PGE in the environment. Already a study by Fritsche (2003) which concentrated on soil was carried out to determinate the distribution of the PGE in the roadside soil of the Austrian motorways. In this work the study is extended to roadside soils, roadside snow, street sweepings and sludge in the infiltration basin and roadside drain and 31 samples were taken from different sample sites. Snow samples were studied for the first time in Austria in order to better distinguish between geogenic and anthropogenic PGE sources. All the samples were digested by microwave digestion system and analyzed by ICP-MS with the isotope dilution method. To separate the interfering matrix constituents all samples were measured through online-coupling of a chromatographic column with the ICP-MS system. At all the sample sites the accumulation of the PGE was clearly observed in different roadside media, the concentrations of Pd and Pt significantly exceeds the to expected natural background value. No straightforward relationship between the PGE-concentration in the roadside snow and traffic density was found. Through the calculation of the Pt/Pd-ratios and correlation, the samples show the good linear relationship between the Pd and Pt which points to a purely anthropogenic source.
Translated title of the contributionPlatingruppenelemente in Straßenstäuben
Original languageEnglish
  • Meisel, Thomas, Supervisor (internal)
Award date26 Mar 2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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  • automobile catalytic converters PGE platinum group elements roadside soil roadside snow street sweepings ICP-MS isotope dilution

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