Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-1987

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering - (M.S.)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Arthur Greenberg

Second Advisor

Barbara B. Kebbekus

Third Advisor

Joseph W. Bozzelli


Studies were conducted to characterized airborne particulate extractable organic matter (EOM) with respect to chemical composition and biological activity. It has been well established that the nitrated polycyclic hydrocarbons (nitroPAH) are environmental contaminants. To identify nitro-PAH in ambient air sample, a technique was developed involving introduction of a reducer column into an reversephase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system. Strong fluorescence signals were achieved from nitro-PAH and detected together with u.v. signals for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of nitro-PAH. 2-Nitrotriptycene was synthesized according to published procedures and used as an internal standard. By use of the above technique, 9nitroanthracene, 1-nitropyrene, 7 -nitrobenz (a) anthracene, 6-nitrochrysene and 6-nitrobenzo(a)pyrene were detected in NBS diesel particulate sample.

PAH-quinones may be formed from the appropriate PAH's by their photochemical oxidation in the atmosphere. In this study, an analytical method for the identification of PAH-quinones in airborne particulates was developed. The same HPLC system was employed as that for nitro-PAH. 3,6BaP-dione and 7,8-BaP-dione were identified in both CYC extract and DCM extract of an ambient air sample by using the analytical method developed.

Since hydroxynitropyrenes have been identified as making a significant contribution to the mutagenicity of airborne particulate matter, this prompted us to investigate one such compound, 1nitropyren-2-ol. This compound was synthesized according to published procedures. 1-Nitropyren2-ol was detected in one of the ambient air samples and in an NBS diesel particulate sample by using our reverse-phase HPLC system monitoring at 546 nm.

To provide more data for estimating the photochemical products of 1nitropyrene, the filters coated with 1nitropyrene were exposed either to sunlight or to u.v. light. The breakdown products were analyzed using HPLC. No 1-nitropyren-2-ol was found in the filters exposed in both ways. Further work is needed to identify the breakdown products.



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