Characterization of size-fractionated carbonaceous particles in the small to nano-size range in Batam city, Indonesia

Heliyon. 2023 Apr 29;9(5):e15936. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e15936. eCollection 2023 May.


A cascade impactor type sampler equipped with an inertial filter was used to collect size-segregated particles down to ultrafine particles (UFPs or PM0.1) on Batam Island in Sumatra, Indonesia, bordered by Singapore and Malaysia during a wet and the COVID-19 pandemic season in 2021. Carbonaceous species, including organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC), were analyzed by a thermal/optical carbon analyzer to determine the carbon species and their indices. The average UFP was 3.1 ± 0.9 μg/m3, which was 2-4 times lower than in other cities in Sumatra during the same season in the normal condition. The PMs mass concentration was largely affected by local emissions but long-range transportation of particles from Singapore and Malaysia was also not negligible. The air mass arrived at the sampling site passed the ocean, which introduced out clean air with a low level of PMs. The backward trajectory of the air mass and the largest fraction of OC2 and OC3 in all sizes was identified as being transported from the 2 above countries. OC is the dominant fraction in TC and the ratio of carbonaceous components indicated that origin of all particle sizes was predominantly vehicle emissions. UFPs were dominantly emitted from vehicles exhaust emission, while coarser particles (>10 μm) were influenced by the non-exhaust emissions, such as tire wear. Other particles (0.5-1.0; 1.0-2.5; and 2.5-10 μm) were slightly affected by biomass burning. The effective carbon ratio (ECR) and inhalation dose (ID) related EC indicated that finer particles or UFPs and PM0.5-1 contributed more to human health and global warming.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; Elemental carbon; Indonesia; Local emission; Long-range transportation; Organic carbon; Ultrafine particles.