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Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 9698710, 8 pages
Research Article

Characterization of Urban Particulate Matter by Diffusive Gradients in Thin Film Technique

Institute of Analytical Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences, v.v.i., Veveří 97, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic

Correspondence should be addressed to Bohumil Dońćekal

Received 23 June 2017; Revised 8 November 2017; Accepted 18 December 2017; Published 5 February 2018

Academic Editor: Fábio Rodrigo Piovezan Rocha

Copyright © 2018 Michaela Dufka and Bohumil Dočekal. 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.


A diffusive gradient in thin films (DGT) technique was employed in characterization of the particulate matter related to the urban area suffering from heavy traffic. Kinetics of mobilization metals fluxes from the metal-contaminated particulate matter was investigated. To monitor responses of the particulate matter sample, DGT probes of various thickness of diffusion layer were deployed in aqueous model suspensions of the particulate matter for different time periods. Particulate matter samples and exposed DGT resin gels were decomposed in a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acid in a microwave pressurized PTFE-lined system. Total content of some traffic-related elements (Cd, Co, Cu, Mo, Ni, Pb, Pd, Pt, Rh, Sb, and V) was determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. DGT measurements revealed that two metals pools associated with particles could be recognized, which can be characterized as high soluble fraction and almost insoluble fraction. DGT-measured metal fluxes from the labile pool showed significant difference in mobilization and resupply fluxes of individual selected elements, which might reflect the origin of selected metals and their speciation in particulate matter. The DGT technique can be applied as a useful tool for characterization of metals mobilization from the particulate matter.