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Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3504274, 19 pages
Research Article

Molecular Marker Study of Particulate Organic Matter in Southern Ontario Air

1Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry and Department of Chemistry, York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, ON, Canada M3J 1P3
2Climate Chemistry Measurements and Research, Climate Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M3H 5T4

Correspondence should be addressed to Satoshi Irei

Received 28 April 2017; Accepted 28 June 2017; Published 17 September 2017

Academic Editor: Adam Voelkel

Copyright © 2017 Satoshi Irei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To study the origins of airborne particulate organic matter in southern Ontario, molecular marker concentrations were studied at Hamilton, Simcoe, and York Gateway Tunnel, representing industrial, rural, and heavy traffic sites, respectively. Airborne particulate matter smaller than 10 m in aerodynamic diameter was collected on quartz filters, and the collected samples were analyzed for total carbons, 5-6 ring PAHs, hopanes, n-alkanes (C20 to C34), and oxygenated aromatic compounds. Results showed that PAH concentrations at all three sites were highly correlated, indicating vehicular emissions as the major source. Meanwhile, in the scatter plots of ,-hopane and trisnorhopane, concentrations displayed different trends for Hamilton and Simcoe. The slopes of the linear regressions for Hamilton and the tunnel were statistically the same, while the slope for Simcoe was significantly different from those. Comparison with literature values revealed that the trend observed at Simcoe was explained by the influence from coal combustion. We also found that the majority of oxygenated aromatic compounds at both sites were in the similar level, possibly implying secondary products contained in the southern Ontario air. Regardless of some discrepancies, absolute principal component analysis applied to the datasets could reproduce those findings.