Biomass is increasingly used in energy plants of different size and sophistication in Sweden. Biomass is also available in Sweden owing to its large forest-covered areas. Incineration of biomass in an environmentally friendly manner is one of the key issues in Swedish policy for sustainable development. Hence there is ongoing research on the effects of biomass burning on the air quality in Swedish cities. The relative contributions of anthropogenic sources to pollution in the urban environment are usually difficult to evaluate owing to the complexity of the ambient aerosol. In order to investigate the contribution of biomass incineration to air quality, energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) analysis was performed on aerosol particles sampled in the centre of the small city of Växjö. PM2.5 and PM2.5-10 fractions were sampled with the special aim of determining the contribution of biomass burning to particulate air pollution. In order to identify typical indicators for biomass burning, principle component analysis was performed on data on elemental contents and black carbon. Analysis suggests that the K/Zn ratio will be useful as an indicator for biomass incineration.
X-ray Spectrometry, 2006, Vol 35, Issue 1, p. 19-26