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Issue 6, 2011
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Fractionation of traffic-emitted Ce, La and Zr in road dusts

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The introduction of catalytic converters has led to a new environmental problem since catalysts emit platinum group elements (PGEs) which are among the least distributed elements in nature. Along with PGEs the vehicle exhaust catalysts contain also a number of stabilizers, commonly oxides of rare earth elements and alkaline earth elements such as Ce, La and Zr. Since vehicular emission of these elements has received little attention so far this work attempts to offer insight into their distribution and fate in the environment by measuring their speciation in road dust samples collected along several highways in Germany and a city centre (Saarbr├╝cken). Speciation of the elements (fractionation into associated mineralogical phases) was carried out via a conventional sequential extraction protocol and the complexing abilities of humic substances in the organic matter were investigated by selective extraction methods in combination with size segregation. For evaluation purposes soil samples spiked with catalytic converter material were analyzed, showing a much lower fraction of Ce, La and Zr mobilized in comparison to the road dust samples. It was found that the elements were effectively bound to humic substances in road dust with a preference for complexation with low molecular weight compounds (<1600 Da).

Graphical abstract: Fractionation of traffic-emitted Ce, La and Zr in road dusts

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Article information

25 Feb 2011
16 Mar 2011
First published
14 Apr 2011

J. Environ. Monit., 2011,13, 1823-1830
Article type

Fractionation of traffic-emitted Ce, La and Zr in road dusts

V. Lyubomirova, R. Djingova and J. T. van Elteren, J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 1823
DOI: 10.1039/C1EM10187K

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