Alessandra Cincinelli 1, Francesca Pieri1, Tania Martellini1, Maurizio Passaponti1, Massimo Del Bubba1, Sabino Del Vento2, Athanasios A. Katsoyiannis 3

  • 1 Department of Chemistry, University of Florence, via della Lastruccia, 3 – 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Florence), Italy
  • 2 Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, United Kingdom
  • 3 NILU - Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Hj., Johansens gt 14, 9296, Tromsø, Norway

Received: January 23, 2013
Revised: June 3, 2013
Accepted: June 3, 2013
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Cite this article:
Cincinelli, A., Pieri, F., Martellini, T., Passaponti, M., Bubba, M.D., Vento, S.D. and Katsoyiannis, A.A. (2014). Atmospheric Occurrence and Gas-Particle Partitioning of PBDEs in an Industrialised and Urban Area of Florence, Italy. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 14: 1121-1130.



Air samples were collected both at an urban and an industrial area of Florence (Italy) in order to evaluate the occurrence, profiles, seasonal variation and gas/particle partitioning of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The mean total (gas + particle phase) PBDE concentrations were 42.8 ± 7.8 and 89.0 ± 21.1 pg/m3 in the urban and industrial sites, respectively. In all samples, BDE-209 was the most abundant congener, followed by BDE-47 and BDE-153 in the industrial site, and by BDE-99 in the urban site. The Σ6PBDE (sum of BDE-28, -47, -99, -100, 153, -154) concentrations in the urban (12.1–27.9 pg/m3) and industrialised (21.4–44.3 pg/m3) sites were comparable to, or slightly lower than measured at other sites. The partition coefficient of PBDEs between the gas and particle phases (Kp) was well correlated with the subcooled liquid vapor pressure (P°L) for all samples. The measured particulate sorption of PBDEs was compared to the predictions from Junge-Pankow (J/P) model and KOA absorption model. While the Junge-Pankow model tends to overestimate the particulate sorption, the KOA based model seemed to fit the PBDE data.

Keywords: Seasonal variation; Emissions; PBDEs; Gas phase; Particulate phase

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