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Tire and road wear particles in road environment – Quantification and assessment of particle dynamics by Zn determination after density separation

Klöckner, Philipp, Reemtsma, Thorsten, Eisentraut, Paul, Braun, Ulrike, Ruhl, Aki Sebastian, Wagner, Stephan
Chemosphere 2019 v.222 pp. 714-721
particulates, runoff, sediments, tires, traffic, zinc
In this study, a method for the determination of tire and road wear particle (TRWP) contents in particulate samples from road environment was developed. Zn was identified as the most suitable elemental marker for TRWP, due to its high concentration in tire tread and the possibility of separation from other Zn sources. The mean concentration of 21 tire samples was 8.7 ± 2.0 mg Zn/g. Before quantification in samples from road environment, TRWP were separated from the particulate matrix by density separation. Method development was conducted using shredded tread particles (TP) as a surrogate for TRWP. Recovery of TP from spiked sediment was 95 ± 17% in a concentration range of 2 - 200 mg TP/g. TP determination was not affected by other Zn containing solids or spiked Zn-salts. By adjusting the density of the separation solution to 1.9 g/cm³, more than 90% of total TRWP were separated from the sample matrix. TRWP concentrations in particulate matter collected in two road runoff treatment systems ranged from 0.38 to 150 mg TRWP/g. Differences in quantified TRWP contents of the two systems indicate changes in particle dynamics due to ageing and aggregation processes. The developed method allows TRWP determination in road runoff and in environments that are influenced by road traffic. The validated separation procedure can also be applied for TRWP characterization in future studies.