Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are an important class of pollutants which mostly come out from incomplete combustion of organic materials including fossil fuels. For this reason, they are often found at high concentrations in cities, contaminating air with their gas and particle phase. While European Union policies try to reduce their concentrations, huge efforts are still devoted to mitigate the pollution by PAHs. One such measure of mitigation is the use of plants in capturing PAHs and other chemicals due to the ability of leaves in filtering both gas and particle fractions. In this work thirteen conifer species among those frequently living in temperate and Mediterranean cities were selected and concentrations of 16 PAHs were measured in needles. The data for spruce were used to back-calculate air concentrations of PAHs which were later used to obtain specific equations of plant-air partition coefficient (K-PA). The results showed that the difference in total PAH uptake between the most (Pinus pinaster) and the least (Picea abies) efficient tree was close to an order of magnitude. Looking to the capability of the different species in enriching the particulate matter (PM) associated fraction of PAHs on their needles, Pinus pinaster was instead the least important (3.4% of total PAHs), while Cupressus lusitanica was the most important (34% of total PAHs). The new K-PA equations can be used to fine tune the PAH uptake of a specific amount of plant biomass on air concentration reduction.

Plant-air partition coefficients for thirteen urban conifer tree species: Estimating the best gas and particulate matter associated PAH removers

Di Guardo, Antonio
Penultimo
;
Terzaghi, Elisa
Ultimo
2022-01-01

Abstract

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are an important class of pollutants which mostly come out from incomplete combustion of organic materials including fossil fuels. For this reason, they are often found at high concentrations in cities, contaminating air with their gas and particle phase. While European Union policies try to reduce their concentrations, huge efforts are still devoted to mitigate the pollution by PAHs. One such measure of mitigation is the use of plants in capturing PAHs and other chemicals due to the ability of leaves in filtering both gas and particle fractions. In this work thirteen conifer species among those frequently living in temperate and Mediterranean cities were selected and concentrations of 16 PAHs were measured in needles. The data for spruce were used to back-calculate air concentrations of PAHs which were later used to obtain specific equations of plant-air partition coefficient (K-PA). The results showed that the difference in total PAH uptake between the most (Pinus pinaster) and the least (Picea abies) efficient tree was close to an order of magnitude. Looking to the capability of the different species in enriching the particulate matter (PM) associated fraction of PAHs on their needles, Pinus pinaster was instead the least important (3.4% of total PAHs), while Cupressus lusitanica was the most important (34% of total PAHs). The new K-PA equations can be used to fine tune the PAH uptake of a specific amount of plant biomass on air concentration reduction.
2022
2022
Air quality; Ecosystem services; Forest filter effect; Particulate matter; Plant-air partition coefficient
Giráldez, Pablo; Aboal, Jesús R; Fernández, J Ángel; Di Guardo, Antonio; Terzaghi, Elisa
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2146674
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