New measurements of full-spectrum light absorption on carbonaceous aerosol and mineral dust.
Isolabella T., Bernardoni V., Abd El E., Brunoldi M., Massabò D., Mazzei F., Vernocchi V., Prati P.
Particulate matter (PM) has a detrimental impact on health, air quality and climate change. Several of the compounds that make up PM play a major role in the Earth's energy balance by absorbing and scattering solar radiation. Among them, carbonaceous aerosols (CA) are the strongest light-absorbing class of PM. Mineral dust (MD) also exhibits selective light-absorption characteristics in certain bands of the solar radiation spectrum. In order to develop efficient strategies for mitigation of climate change, it is necessary to understand the impact that each of the different PM components have. Optical analysis of PM is the starting point for component and source apportionment of atmospheric aerosol. By exploiting the different spectral behaviour of different PM components, it is possible to infer the composition of the aerosol and its sources. A new instrument for white-light absorption measurements of aerosol has been assembled and validated at the University of Genoa. In this communication an overview of the instrument will be given, alongside a presentation of analysis results of several samples of CA and MD, highlighting the potential of the broad-spectrum light absorption analysis.