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Exploring the Variation between EC and BC in a Variety of Locations

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Volume: 12 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 1-7
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2011.09.0150

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To cite this article:
Salako, G.O., Hopke, P.K., Cohen, D.D., Begum, B.A., Biswas, S.K., Pandit, G.G., Chung, Y.S., Rahman, S.A., Hamzah, M.S., Davy, P., Markwitz, A., Shagjjamba, D., Lodoysamba, S., Wimolwattanapun, W. and Bunprapob, S. (2012). Exploring the Variation between EC and BC in a Variety of Locations. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 12: 1-7. doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2011.09.0150.

Gbenga Oladoyin Salako1, Philip K. Hopke 1, David D. Cohen2, Bilkis A. Begum3, Swapan K. Biswas3, Gauri Girish Pandit4, Yong-Sam Chung5, Shamsiah Abd Rahman6, Mohd Suhaimi Hamzah6, Perry Davy7, Andreas Markwitz7, Dagva Shagjjamba8, Sereeter Lodoysamba8, Wanna Wimolwattanapun9, Supamatthree Bunprapob9

  • 1 Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699-5708, USA
  • 2 Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Physics Division, Private Mail Bag 1, Menai 2234, NSW, Australia
  • 3 Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC), Atomic Energy Centre, Dhaka (AECD), P.O. Box 164, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • 4 Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400085, India
  • 5 Hanaro Center, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), 150 Dukjin-dong, Yusung-ku, P.O. Box 105, Daejon 305-600, Korea
  • 6 Waste and Environmental Technology Division, Malaysian Nuclear Agency, Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 7 Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS), 30 Gracefield Road, P.O. Box 31-312, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • 8 National University of Mongolia, Ikh Surguuliin, P.O. Box 46/789, Ulaanbaatar 210646, Mongolia
  • 9 Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (TINT), 16 Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, Bangkok 10900, Thailand


Despite intensive research over the past three decades, a generally accepted standard method to measure black carbon (BC) or elemental carbon (EC) still does not exist. Data on BC and EC concentrations are method specific and can differ widely. This work was motivated by the lack of any prior study that established the variability between these two measures of carbonaceous particulate matter. Measurements of BC and EC were performed at different locations across Asia and the South Pacific in both urban and suburban locations. Filter samples were collected during the winter of 2007 to the winter of 2010 and analyzed for both BC and EC. EC was measured using the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE_A) protocol. Black carbon was measured by the EELS reflectometer (Diffusion Systems, Ltd). Bangladesh had the highest correlation coefficient of 0.93. Bangkok, Thailand on the other hand had the lowest correlation coefficient of 0.34. A review of previously reported source apportionment of BC concentrations in these locations showed that New Zealand had the highest percentage (82%) of BC from biomass while Mongolia had the lowest percentage of 3.1%. The fraction of BC emissions from diesel vehicles was found predominant in Mumbai, India with values as high as 80%. Mongolia had the lowest emission of BC from diesel vehicle (5.4%) with coal- and biomass-combustion being the dominant sources.


Elemental carbon Black carbon Light absorbing aerosols Particulate matter

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