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Tyre stud derived tungsten carbide particles in urban street dust
University of Kalmar, School of Pure and Applied Natural Sciences.
2006 (English)In: Boreal environment research, ISSN 1239-6095, E-ISSN 1797-2469, Vol. 11, no 3, p. 161-168Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In countries where studded winter tyres are used they contribute to the generation of street dust by grinding the road surface and traction sand into finer particles. At the same time the hard metal tips of the studs, made out of tungsten carbide (WC), wear to finer particles dispersed into the environment. Elevated tungsten concentrations in different sampling media, probably caused by the use of studded tyres, have also been reported. In this study three size fractions of street dust sampled in Turku, Finland, were investigated. Tungsten and various other element concentrations were determined with ICP-MS after total dissolution, pseudo total concentration (aqua regia) and a weaker extraction (1M NH4Ac). A visual analysis was made with a SEM-EDX to study the presence and size fraction of WC particles, which has not been studied before. The total concentrations (median values) of tungsten in the fractions were 9.2 µg g–1 (100 µm–2 mm), 21 µg g–1 (45 µm–100 µm) and 39 µg g–1 (< 45 µm). As expected, tungsten showed a tendency to accumulate into the finer size fractions. However, more surprising was the result that out of all elements determined, tungsten had the greatest (median values) relative enrichment in the fine fraction. In the SEM-EDX analysis particles consisting of tungsten were identified and ruled out to be WC abraded from tyre studs. The WC particles occurred either separately or in clusters with size range of 0.1–1.4 µm.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Helsinki: Finnish Environment Institute , 2006. Vol. 11, no 3, p. 161-168
Keyword [en]
Environment, Urban geochemistry, Metals, Roads, Grinding, Urban areas, Carbides, Tungsten
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Science, Environmental Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hik:diva-605OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hik-605DiVA, id: diva2:1851
Available from: 2008-02-14 Created: 2009-09-24 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Multielement Urban Geochemistry: Exporing the Expected, the Unexpected and the Unknown
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multielement Urban Geochemistry: Exporing the Expected, the Unexpected and the Unknown
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Urban areas are hot-spots for the human use of most elements. These elements are the building blocks of our various goods and chemicals and are used both purposely and in a more unaware fashion. There are many ways in which the elements get dispersed from the human use. Commonly acknowledged and evident processes of dispersion are point sources (e.g. industrial pollution), diffuse sources (e.g. traffic) and the past historic use of various chemicals. In fact everything ever produced is going to end up somewhere - it is just a matter of time. Soils and sediments are the main sinks for elements dispersed from the above and other sources. The importance of recognising the dispersion of elements lies in the well-known fact that many elements are toxic or potentially toxic. Due to the multitude of chemicals used in urban areas during time periods up to even thousand of years it can not be known exactly which elements are enriched at specific sites or in specific samples. Moreover, if the presence of a specific element is "unexpected" then it can lead to the element not being searched for (determined) at all. Due to this it is important that as many elements as possible are determined from samples with urban environmental concern.

In this thesis multielement chemical analyses (mainly ICP-MS) are used to study the past, present and potential future dispersion of chemical elements, mainly in and around the small town of Jakobstad (Pietarsaari), Finland. The materials studied were till, boreal forest humus, various urban soils, street dust, lake sediments and sediment leachates. The results first of all show that multielement analytical methods are useful, if not totally necessary, in order to grasp the presence and dispersion of various elements from both natural and anthropogenic sources. This is especially important when dealing with the dispersion of toxic elements. The most important specific findings of this thesis are: the presence of reduced sulphur in natural lake sediments can lead to considerable leakage of many elements if the sediments are dredged and allowed to oxidise; that boreal forest humus can be used to track the past urban dispersion of various chemical elements; boron can be used to track wood fires from sedimentary profiles; that the use of red lead has caused extreme lead concentration in the topsoil from small-scale usage. This lead can be "invisible" and highly bioavailable to certain bacteria and most likely also to other organisms; that tungsten carbide is enriched in the urban humus and dust and dispersed to the environment from the studded tyres as < 0.1 -1.4 um particles.

Abstract [sv]

Urbana områden är kärnområden för människans användning av de flesta kemiska element. Dessa element kan vara kända beståndsdelar i de varor och kemikalier som vi använder men ofta utan vi är medvetna om dem. Det finns många sätt på vilka element kan spridas från de olika mänskliga aktiviteterna. Välkända spridningsprocesser är olika punktkällor (t.ex. industriell förorening), diffusa källor (t.ex. trafik) samt den historiska användingen av element och kemikalier. Egentligen kommer allt som någonsin har producerats att hamna någonstans - det är bara en tidsfråga. Marken och sedimenten är de huvudsakliga deponierna för element som spridits från de ovan nämnda och andra källor. En av de viktigaste orsakerna till att vara uppmärksam på spridningen av element är det kända faktum att många element är giftiga eller potentiellt giftiga. På grund av det stora antalet varor och kemikalier som använts i urbana områden, under upp till tusentals år, kan man inte med säkerhet veta vilka element som är anrikade på specifika ställen. Dessutom kan förekomsten av ett specifikt element vara "oväntat" vilket kan leda till att det överhuvudtaget inte blir analyserat från ett urbant miljörelaterat prov.

I denna avhandling används multielement metoder (främst ICP-MS) för att studera många element samtidigt från både tidigare, den nutida samt den möjliga framtida spridningen av element i och omkring Jakobstad (Pietarsaari), en småstad i Finland. Prov- och analysmaterialet består av morän, skogshumus, olika urbana jordar, gatudamm, sjösediment samt lakvatten från sediment. Resultaten pekar först och främst på att multielement metoder är användbara, om inte helt nödvändiga, om vi skall kunna begripa oss på förekomsten och spridningen av olika element från både naturliga och av människan förorsakade källor. Detta är speciellt viktigt i fall där det rör sig om giftiga element. De viktigaste enskilda resultaten i denna avhandling är: reducerat svavel i sjösediment kan leda till ett betydande läckage av flera element ifall sedimenten muddras och tillåts oxidera; skogshumus kan användas för att kartera spridningen av olika element i den urbana miljön; bor kan användas för att spåra bränder av trämaterial från sedimentprofiler; användningen av blymönja har resulterat i extrema blyhalter i ytjorden p.g.a. småskalig användning. Detta bly kan vara både "osynligt" och mycket biotillgängligt för vissa bakterier, samt sannolikt även för andra organismer; volframkarbid anrikas i urbant humus och damm och sprids till miljön från dubbdäck som partiklar i storleksklassen < 0.1 -1.4 um.

Series
Dissertation series / University of Kalmar, Faculty of Natural Science, ISSN 1650-2779 ; 16
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Science, Environmental Chemistry; Environmental Science, Environmental Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hik:diva-147 (URN)9189584-32-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-01-14, 00:00 (English)
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-02-14 Created: 2008-02-14 Last updated: 2010-03-09

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