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Identification of Platinum and Palladium Particles Emitted from 2 Vehicles and Dispersed into the Surface Environment

Prichard, Hazel Margareth and Fisher, Peter Charles 2012. Identification of Platinum and Palladium Particles Emitted from 2 Vehicles and Dispersed into the Surface Environment. Environmental Science and Technology -Washington DC- 46 (6) , pp. 3149-3154. 10.1021/es203666h

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Platinum, palladium, and rhodium are emitted from vehicle catalytic converters. Until now, the form of precious metal particles in road dust and urban waste has not been identified. This study has located, imaged, and analyzed these particles in road dust and gully waste. Two fragments of catalytic converter have been observed in road dust. They are 40−80 μm in size and covered in many minute particles (<0.3 μm) of either platinum with minor rhodium or palladium. One fragment identified in gully sediment is smaller, 25 μm in diameter, hosting only one attached particle of palladium with minor rhodium. As fragments are washed off roads they begin to disintegrate and the precious metals become detached. Also precious metal-bearing particles have been located in incinerated sewage ash including a 20 μm diameter cluster of <3 μm sized platinum particles that may be the remains of a catalytic converter fragment that has survived incineration. The form of these precious metal-bearing particles described here reveals that as they are dispersed from roads they are likely to be present predominantly as two particle sizes. Either they are attached to larger fragments of catalytic converter or they are released as individual detached tiny <0.3 μm to nanoparticle sizes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Publisher: American Chemical Society
ISSN: 0013-936X
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2020 17:06

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