Ionic Composition in Aqueous Extracts from PM2.5 in Ambient Air at the City of Cuernavaca, México


The present study was carried out between May and June 2012 in the city of Cuernavaca, Mexico. During this time the average ambient temperatures were about 25°C, suggesting the formation of secondary aerosols, consisting mainly of ammonium and sulfate. The average PM2.5 concentration was 37 μg·m-3 for the entire urban area and there were only two days which exceeded the limit established by the official standards for periods of 24 h. The most abundant ionic species associated with PM2.5 were sulfates (3634.82 ng·m-3, average) and ammonium (1709.53 ng·m-3, average). The ratio estimated between total anions and total cations indicated that the concentration of total anions was 1.94 times total cations. The contribution percentage of the ionic species associated with PM2.5 revealed that 76% of the PM2.5 is sulfates and ammonium. The ion balance made for the urban area of Cuernavaca indicated that during the study period, the aerosols showed alkaline characteristics; that is to say the concentration of anions was not sufficient to neutralize the cations, specifically ammonia (m = 0.060). Finally, wind fields showed that during the study the winds came in 50% from the south west, followed by 25% from east and 12.5% of the south east, which in part allowed transport of contaminants into the portion of the city, where the AUSM campus site was located.

Share and Cite:

Saldarriaga-Noreña, H. , Hernández-Mena, L. , Sánchez-Salinas, E. , Ramos-Quintana, F. , Ortíz-Hernández, L. , Morales-Cueto, R. , Alarcón-González, V. and Ramírez-Jiménez, S. (2014) Ionic Composition in Aqueous Extracts from PM2.5 in Ambient Air at the City of Cuernavaca, México. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 1305-1315. doi: 10.4236/jep.2014.513124.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Twomey, S. (1991) Aerosols, Clouds, and Radiation. Atmospheric Environment, 25, 2435-2442.
[2] Charlson, R.J., Schwartz, S.E., Hales, J.M., Cess, R.D., Coakley Jr., J.A., Hansen, J.E. and Hofmann, D.J. (1992) Climate Forcing by Anthropogenic Aerosols. Science, 255, 423-430.
[3] Andreae, M.O. (1995) Climatic Effects of Changing Atmospheric Aerosol Levels. In: Henderson-Sellers, A., Ed., World Survey of Climatology, Vol. 16, Future Climates of the World, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 341-392.
[4] US Environmental Protection Agency (1999) National Air Quality and Missions Trends Report; 454/R-011-004. US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC.
[5] Schwartz, S.E. (1996) The Whitehouse Effect—Shortwave Radiative Forcing of Climate by Anthropogenic Aerosols: An Overview. Journal of Aerosol Science, 27, 359-383.
[6] Ramanathan, V., Crutzen, P.J., Kiehl, J.T. and Rosenfeld, D. (2001) Atmosphere, Aerosols, Climate, and the Hydrological Cycle. Science, 294, 2119-2124.
[7] Menon, S., Hansen, J., Nazarenko, L. and Luo, Y. (2002) Climate Effects of Elemental Carbon Aerosols in China and India. Science, 297, 2250-2253.
[8] Brook, J.R., Dann, T.F. and Burnett, R.T. (1997) The Relationship among TSP, PM10, PM2.5 and Inorganic Constituents of Atmospheric Particulate Matter at Multiple Canadian Locations. Journal of Air & Waste Management Association, 47, 2-19.
[9] Lee, J.H., Kim, Y.P., Moon, K.C., Kim, H.K. and Lee, C.B. (2001) Fine Particle Measurement at Two Background Sites in Korea between 1996 and 1997. Atmospheric Environment, 35, 635-643.
[10] Wang, G., Wang, H., Yu, Y., Gao, S., Feng, J., Gao, S. and Wang, L. (2003) Chemical Characterization of Water-Soluble Components of PM10 and PM2.5 Atmospheric Aerosols in Five Locations of Nanjing, China. Atmospheric Environment, 37, 2893-2903.
[11] Cheng, M.T., Lin, Y.C., Chio, C.P., Wang, C.F. and Kuo, C.Y. (2005) Characteristics of Aerosols Collected in Central Taiwan during Asian Dust Event in Spring 2000. Chemosphere, 61, 1439-1450.
[12] Yin, J. and Harrison, R.M. (2008) Pragmatic Mass Closure Study for PM1.0, PM2.5 and PM10 at Roadside, Urban Background and Rural Sites. Atmospheric Environment, 42, 980-988.
[13] Cheng, Y., Lee, S.C., Ho, K.F. and Fung, K. (2010) Positive Sampling Artifacts in Particulate Organic Carbon Measurements in Roadside Environment. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 168, 645-656.
[14] Ito, K., Xue, N. and Thurston, G. (2004) Spatial Variation of PM2.5 Chemical Species and Sources-Apportioned Mass Concentration in New York City. Atmospheric Environment, 38, 5269-5282.
[15] Hueglin, C., Gehrig, R., Baltensperger, U., Gysel, M., Monn, C. and Vonmont, H. (2005) Chemical Characterisation of PM2.5, PM10 and Coarse Particles at Urban, Near-City and Rural Sites in Switzerland. Atmospheric Environment, 39, 637-651.
[16] Bell, M.L., Dominici, F., Ebisu, K., Zeger, S.L. and Samet, J.M. (2007) Spatial and Temporal Variation in PM2.5 Chemical Composition in the United States for Health Effects Studies. Environment Health Perspectives, 115, 989-995.
[17] Báez, P.A., Garcia, M.R., Torres, B.M., Padilla, H.G., Belmont, R.D., Amador, M.O. and Villalobos-Pietrini, R. (2007) Origin of Trace Elements and Inorganic Ions in PM10 Aerosols to the South of Mexico City. Atmospheric Research, 85, 52-63.
[18] Clapp, L.J. and Jenkin, M.E. (2001) Analysis of the Relationship between Ambient Levels of O3, NO2 and NO as a Function of NOx in the UK. Atmospheric Environment, 35, 6391-6405.
[19] Hodgson, E. (2004) A Textbook of Modern Toxicology. Wiley-Interscience, Hoboken.
[20] Aldabe, J., Elustondo, D., Santamaria, C., Lasheras, E., Pandolfi, M., Alastuey, A., Querol, X. and Santamaria, J.M. (2011) Chemical Characterisation and Source Apportionment of PM2.5 and PM10 at Rural, Urban and Traffic Sites in Navarra (North of Spain). Atmospheric Research, 102, 191-205.
[21] Baker, K.R. and Foley, K.M. (2011) A Nonlinear Regression Model Estimating Single Source Concentrations of Primary and Secondarily Formed PM2.5. Atmospheric Environment, 45, 3758-3767.
[22] Hagler, G.S.W., Bergin, M.H., Smith, E.A. and Dibb, J.E. (2007) A Summer Time Series of Particulate Carbon in the Air and Snow at Summit, Greenland. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 112, Published Online.
[23] Kocak, M., Mihalopoulos, N. and Kubilay, N. (2007) Chemical Composition of the Fine and Coarse Fraction of Aerosols in the Northeastern Mediterranean. Atmospheric Environment, 41, 7351-7368.
[24] Teixeira, E.C., Meira, L., de Santana, E.R.R. and Wiegand, F. (2009) Chemical Composition of PM10 and PM2.5 and Seasonal Variations in South Brazil. Water, Air, Soil Pollution, 199, 261-275
[25] Yang, H., Yu, J.Z., Ho, S.S., Xu, J., Wu, W.S., Wan, C.H., et al. (2005) The Chemical Composition of Inorganic and Carbonaceous Materials in PM2.5 in Nanjing, China. Atmospheric Environment, 39, 3735-3749.
[26] Wang, Y., Zhuang, G.S., Tang, A.H., Yuan, H., Sun, Y.L., Chen, S. and Zheng, A.H. (2005) The Ion Chemistry and the Source of PM2.5 Aerosol in Beijing. Atmospheric Environment, 39, 3771-3784.
[27] Rattigan, V.O., Hogrefeb, O., Feltona, D.H., Schwabb, J.J., Roychowdhuryb, K.U., Husainc, L., et al. (2006) Multi-Year Urban and Rural Semi-Continuous PM2.5 Sulfate and Nitrate Measurements in New York State: Evaluation and Comparison with Filter Based Measurements. Atmospheric Environment, 40, 192-205.

Copyright © 2021 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.