Spatial distribution of particulate matter on winter nights in Temuco, Chile: studying the impact of residential wood-burning using mobile monitoring

Estela Blanco, Francisco Rubilar, Maria Elisa Quinteros, Karen Cayupi, Salvador Ayala, Siyao Lu, Raquel B. Jimenez, Juan Pablo Cárdenas, Carola A. Blazquez, Juana Maria Delgado-Saborit, Roy M. Harrison, Pablo Ruiz-Rudolph*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Temuco, a medium-sized city in the south of Chile, is heavily impacted by residential wood-burning particularly in winter, which causes strong episodes of air pollution. We spatially characterized the distribution of particulate matter (PM) during winter nights in Temuco using mobile measurements. In winter 2016 (June 8-July 15th), continuous monitors for PM ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and ultrafine particles <0.1 μm (UFP) were deployed in a vehicle along with a positioning system during 20 nights (20:00 to 2:00) in assigned routes that crossed the city and additional sampling was conducted at a central site. Measurements were expressed as concentrations and ratios to central site concentrations and collapsed by spatial grids of 50, 100, 200, and 400 m. Average PM2.5 concentrations were ∼100 μg m−3, while UFP ∼30,000 counts cm−3. Some neighborhoods had concentrations of PM2.5 nearly double those measured at a centrally located site, while other neighborhoods had less than half the measured level. We identified hotspots and cold spots of PM2.5 and UFP throughout the urban area—and observed some neighborhoods in which over 20% of the area was categorized as a hotspot for one of the pollutants (14 for PM2.5 and 11 for UFP out of 34). Using mobile monitoring—a relatively simple and inexpensive methodology— we characterized the spatial distribution of pollutants and likely clusters for the time period, which may guide future spatial campaigns and help targeting local interventions aimed at air pollution mitigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119255
Number of pages10
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Early online date30 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by “Impact of Wood-burning Air Pollution on Preeclampsia and other Pregnancy Outcomes in Temuco, Chile” ( DPI2140093 ) by CONICYT and Research Councils UK . Estela Blanco, María Elisa Quinteros, and Salvador Ayala were supported by a doctoral scholarship by ANID Beca Doctorado Nacional, Chile No. 21201332 , No. 21150801 and No. 21191111 , respectively. Juana Maria Delgado-Saborit was supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 750531 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Air pollution
  • Air quality
  • Global positioning system
  • Mobile sampling
  • Wood smoke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


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