Chemical characterization of emissions from vegetable oil processing and their contribution to aerosol mass using the organic molecular markers approach

Academic Article


  • The organic fraction of aerosol emitted from a vegetable oil processing plant was studied to investigate the contribution of emissions to ambient particles in the surrounding area. Solvent-soluble particulate organic compounds emitted from the plant accounted for 10% of total suspended particles. This percentage was lower in the receptor sites (less than 6% of total aerosol mass). Nonpolar, moderate polar, polar, and acidic compounds were detected in both emitted and ambient aerosol samples. The processing and combustion of olive pits yielded a source with strong biogenic characteristics, such as the high values of the carbon preference index (CPI) for all compound classes. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) detected in emissions were associated with both olive pits and diesel combustion. The chromatographic profile of dimethyl-phenanthrenes (DMPs) was characteristic of olive pit combustion. Organic aerosols collected in two receptor sites provided a different pattern.The significant contribution of vehicular emissions was identified by CPI values (˜1) of n-alkanes and the presence of the unresolved complex mixture (UCM). In addition, PAH concentration diagnostic ratios indicated that emissions from catalyst and noncatalyst automobiles and heavy trucks were significant. The strong even-to-odd predominance of n-alkanols, n-alkanoic acids, and their salts indicated the contribution of a source with biogenic characteristics. However, the profile of DMPs at receptor sites was similar to that observed for diesel particulates. These differences indicated that the contribution of vegetable oil processing emissions to the atmosphere was negligible. © 2001 Air and Waste Management Association.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kavouras IG; Stratigakis N; Stephanou EG
  • Start Page

  • 552
  • End Page

  • 561
  • Volume

  • 51
  • Issue

  • 4