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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 539568, 13 pages
Research Article

Number Size Distribution of Ambient Particles in a Typical Urban Site: The First Polish Assessment Based on Long-Term (9 Months) Measurements

Institute of Environmental Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Skłodowskiej Curie 34, 41-819 Zabrze, Poland

Received 5 July 2013; Accepted 6 August 2013

Academic Editors: P. Kumar and B. A. Schichtel

Copyright © 2013 Krzysztof Klejnowski 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.


This work presents results from the long-term measurements of particle number carried out at an urban background station in Zabrze, Poland. Ambient particles with aerodynamic diameters of between 28 nm and 10 μm were investigated by means of a DEKATI thirteen-stage electrical low pressure impactor (ELPI). The particle number-size distribution was bimodal, whilst its density function had the local maxima in the aerodynamic diameter intervals 0.056–0.095 μm and 0.157–0.263 μm. The average particle number in winter was nearly twice as high as in summer. The greatest number concentrations in winter were those of the particles with diameters of between 0.617 and 2.41 μm, that is, the anthropogenic particles from fossil fuel combustion. Approximately 99% of the particles observed in Zabrze had aerodynamic diameters ≤1 μm—they may have originated from the combustion of biomass, liquid, and gaseous fuels in domestic stoves or in car engines. The daily variation of particle number was similar for both seasons—the highest values were observed in the morning (traffic rush hour) and in the afternoon/late evening (traffic and house heating emissions). An additional maximum (0.028–0.056 μm) observed in the early afternoon in summer was due to the intensive formation of new PM particles from gas precursors.