Efficacy of green infrastructure in reducing exposure to local, traffic-related sources of airborne particulate matter (PM)

Sheikh, H.A. and Maher, B.A. and Woods, A.W. and Tung, P.Y. and Harrison, R.J. (2023) Efficacy of green infrastructure in reducing exposure to local, traffic-related sources of airborne particulate matter (PM). Science of the Total Environment, 903: 166598. ISSN 0048-9697

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One aim of roadside green infrastructure (GI) is to mitigate exposure to local, traffic-generated pollutants. Here, we determine the efficacy of roadside GI in improving local air quality through the deposition and/or dispersion of airborne particulate matter (PM). PM was collected on both pumped air filters and on the leaves of a recently installed ‘tredge’ (trees managed as a head-high hedge) at an open road environment next to a primary school in Manchester, U.K. The magnetic properties of PM deposited on leaves and filters (size fractions PM10 and PM2.5) were deduced from hysteresis loops, first-order reversal curves (FORCs), and low-temperature remanence measurements. These were complemented with electron microscopy to identify changes in magnetic PM concentration downwind of the tredge/GI. We show that the tredge is permeable to airflow using a simple CO2 tracer experiment; hence, it allows interception and subsequent deposition of PM on its leaves. Magnetic loadings per m3 of air from filters (PM10 saturation magnetisation, Ms, at 5 K) were reduced by 40 % behind the tredge and a further 63 % in the playground; a total reduction of 78 % compared to roadside air. For the PM2.5 fraction, the reduction in magnetic loading behind the tredge was remarkable (82 %), reflecting efficient diffusional capture of sub-5 nm Fe-oxide particles by the tredge. Some direct mixing of roadside and playground air occurs at the back of the playground, caused by air flow over, and/or through gaps in, the slowly-permeable tredge. The magnetic loading on tredge leaves increased over successive days, capturing ~23 % of local, traffic-derived PM10. Using a heuristic two-dimensional turbulent mixing model, we assess the limited dispersion of PM < 22.5 μm induced by eddies in the tredge wake. This study demonstrates that PM deposition on leaves reduces exposure significantly in this school playground setting; hence, providing a cost-effective mitigation strategy.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Science of the Total Environment
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? air pollutiongreen infrastructureparticulate mattervehicular pollutionmitigationmagnetismenvironmental chemistrypollutionenvironmental engineeringwaste management and disposal ??
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Deposited On:
08 Sep 2023 13:15
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 00:09