The primary purpose of the ARRS STRAP J1-1716 project (Sources, transport, and fate of persistent air pollutants) is to investigate the origin, transport, dispersion, and fate of persistent pollutants such as Black Carbon (BC).
Poor air quality is one of the most pressing problems in urban areas negatively impacting human health and the quality of the environment. Reducing air pollution requires effective planning strategies and ways to assess the effectiveness of these strategies in terms of the overall impact on air quality. STRAP (Sources, TRAnsport and fate of persistent air Pollutants in the environment of Slovenia) strives to improve our scientific understanding of air pollution by investigating the source, transport, dispersion and fate of persistent air pollutants: black carbon (BC), particulate matter (PM), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and mercury (Hg) in Slovenia.
To date the life cycle of these compounds remain poorly understood and in the case of BC not covered by EU legislation. STRAP will build on existing knowledge and use state-of-the-art techniques based on stable isotope measurements using highly precise multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS) and compound-specific stable isotope analysis (CSIA) to improve source apportionment.
Characterization of sources using BC with highly time resolved measurements and a stable isotope approach will differentiate between fossil and biomass carbon and provide information on whether the contributions are recent and local or aged and regional. In addition, STRAP will construct weather and atmospheric pollutant dispersion models (modelling system) to study and predict the pathway of a pollutant from source to affected population. STRAP will also develop an innovative integrated methodology combining measurement and modelling data to understand better pollutant dispersion in the atmosphere. This approach represents a step forward and a novel contribution to guidelines for assessing air pollution that are currently either based on actual measurements or modelling.
STRAP will perform graphical statistical analysis based on the sunflower algorithm (Sunflower quotation) of measured and modelled pollutant concentrations at an hourly resolution to act as a public warning system. It will also estimate the status of specific environments (urban, marine, industrial) important for planning and managing pollution abatement strategies in relation to environmental change and human health.
Project website STRAP.