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Prediction of Size-Fractionated Airborne Particle-Bound Metals Using MLR, BP-ANN and SVM Analyses


Prediction of Size-Fractionated Airborne Particle-Bound Metals Using MLR, BP-ANN and SVM Analyses

Xiang'zi Leng et al. Chemosphere.


Size-fractionated heavy metal concentrations were observed in airborne particulate matter (PM) samples collected from 2014 to 2015 (spanning all four seasons) from suburban (Xianlin) and industrial (Pukou) areas in Nanjing, a megacity of southeast China. Rapid prediction models of size-fractionated metals were established based on multiple linear regression (MLR), back propagation artificial neural network (BP-ANN) and support vector machine (SVM) by using meteorological factors and PM concentrations as input parameters. About 38% and 77% of PM2.5 concentrations in Xianlin and Pukou, respectively, were beyond the Chinese National Ambient Air Quality Standard limit of 75 μg/m3. Nearly all elements had higher concentrations in industrial areas, and in winter among the four seasons. Anthropogenic elements such as Pb, Zn, Cd and Cu showed larger percentages in the fine fraction (ø≤2.5 μm), whereas the crustal elements including Al, Ba, Fe, Ni, Sr and Ti showed larger percentages in the coarse fraction (ø > 2.5 μm). SVM showed a higher training correlation coefficient (R), and lower mean absolute error (MAE) as well as lower root mean square error (RMSE), than MLR and BP-ANN for most metals. All the three methods showed better prediction results for Ni, Al, V, Cd and As, whereas relatively poor for Cr and Fe. The daily airborne metal concentrations in 2015 were then predicted by the fully trained SVM models and the results showed the heaviest pollution of airborne heavy metals occurred in December and January, whereas the lightest pollution occurred in June and July.

Keywords: Airborne particulate matter (PM); Back propagation artificial neural network (BP-ANN); Heavy metals; Prediction; Support vector machine (SVM).

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