Volume 50, No. 2, May 2016

Volume 50, No. 2, May 2016

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Technical Articles

Identification of volatile organic 
compounds of solid waste by Pyrolysis GC/MS for environmental impact and green manufacturing

Maleknia, S. D., Berger, J., Odermatt, J.

Urban aerosol measurements in New Zealand have largely been conducted Global levels of urban municipal solid waste (MSW) are expected to near 4 billion tonnes per year by 2025. While recycling methodologies have advanced and despite global environmental concerns, incineration and burning are still practiced as a quick solution to waste management. Other recent advances have developed new methodologies to utilise end of life waste products as feedstock of industrial processes. This study has applied temperature dependent pyrolysis GC/MS from thermal desorption at 250 ÅãC to degradation temperature of 500 ÅãC, to identify volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from various types of urban municipal solid waste materials. Focus was set on their potential use in green manufacturing processes, and to better estimate the range of pollutants introduced into the atmosphere as greenhouse gases (GHGs), in relation to waste management during incineration/burning.

Quantifying trends of particulate matter emissions from motor vehicles in Auckland.

Xie, S., Davy, P., Sridhar, S., Metcalfe, J.

Motor vehicles are the largest air pollution source in many cities. Like many other cities in the world, Auckland too suffers from poor air quality at times due to vehicle emissions. Particulate matter (PM) emissions from vehicles have largely been reduced through advances in control technologies and fuel efficiency. However, further reduction is required to improve air quality for better public health protection. Quantifying trends of vehicle emissions is essential for evaluating the effectiveness of policies and the progress towards meeting reduction targets. Monitoring data and vehicle emissions inventories can be used for this purpose, but there can be large uncertainties in the derived trend estimates. Dispersion characteristics, as well as emissions from various sources around the monitoring sites, contribute to the monitored PM concentrations. The vehicle emissions inventory estimates the amount of emissions from the vehicle fleet and is a vital tool for air quality management. However, the vehicle emissions inventory is affected by uncertainties around emission factors and activity data. As a result, there are inconsistencies between trends estimated from monitoring data and from the emissions inventory. Ambient PM10 and PM2.5 have been monitored in Auckland since 1994 and 1997, respectively. In order to identify the sources contributing to monitored PM concentrations in Auckland, a multi-site, multi-year source apportionment study has been undertaken since 2006, based on the multivariate analysis of the chemical composition of particulates (receptor modelling). In this paper, the quantitative trends of vehicle PM10 and PM2.5 emissions in Auckland from the source apportionment dataset and the vehicle emissions inventory were compared and analysed for inter-site and inter-method uncertainty. The outcome provides reconciled quantitative trends of vehicle PM10 and PM2.5 emissions in Auckland. This study represents a significant step forward in providing robust evidence for vehicle emissions management.


Pickett, M. Observations of African dust on the Beagle, St. Jago (Santiago), by Charles Darwin 1833.

This short note reviews observations by Charles Darwin of deposited dust and haze at sea near the island of St. Jago (now Santiago, Cape Verde), approximately 800 kilometres west of the African coast, on 16th January, 1833.